Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has repeatedly refused to commit support for President Joe Biden’s potential 2024 race.
When asked by CNN anchor Jake Tapper on Sunday whether Biden deserves a second term, Manchin refused to give a direct answer, saying “I’m not getting involved in any election right now. 2022, 2024, I’m not speculating on it.”
He asserted his further support and collaboration with the Biden administration for the sake of the people of West Virginia and the nation.
“President Biden is my president right now, and I’m going to work with him and his administration to the best of my ability to help the people in my state of West Virginia and this country. And we have agreements,” Manchin said.
The congressman further shifted his focus to inflation, the matter that he said is currently upsetting people.
“This is about today’s inflation rates killing people. We have got to get the inflation rate down,” he said.
To that end, Manchin emphasized an “energy policy that works for America.”
In comments to Tapper, he further said, “We are not going to raise taxes but people should be paying their fair share, especially the largest corporations in America that have a billion dollars of value or greater. Can’t they pay at least 15 percent so that we can move forward and be the leader of the world and the superpower that we are.”
Backing Tax Hike Bill
His statement seems to be at odds with the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022,” that he recently signed off on.
The senator announced on July 27 that he has reached a deal with Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on energy, taxes, and health care to advance what appears to be a revised, alternate version to the Build Back Better bill.
The measure seeks to generate an estimated $739 billion in new revenue over the next 10 years. A large portion of the money—an estimated $313 billion—is expected to be generated by increasing the corporate minimum tax to 15 percent.
The new spending package, now dubbed the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022,” will “address record inflation by paying down our national debt, lowering energy costs, and lowering healthcare costs,” Manchin said in a lengthy statement.
Yet, some Republican lawmakers heavily criticized the measure, saying the bill would accomplish the opposite and make matters even worse.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said the measure would only kill jobs by raising taxes.
“Democrats have already crushed American families with historic inflation. Now they want to pile on giant tax hikes that will hammer workers and kill many thousands of American jobs,” he wrote on Twitter. “First they killed your family’s budget. Now they want to kill your job too.
It was not the first time that Manchin refused to give a clear answer regarding his willingness to back Biden’s 2024 race.
In comments on the subject to CNN’s July 25 “The Chris Cuomo Project,” he said, “we will just have to wait and see.”
“I am not predicting anything or how I would support or not support, or get involved or not,” he added.
Others who are showing reluctance in their support for Biden running again include Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Cori Bush (D-Mo.)
Meanwhile, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) has made clear his unwillingness to support Biden if he decides to rejoin the 2024 presidential race.
When asked by local radio, Phillips, the congressman for Minnesota’s third district said that Biden would be an octogenarian by 2024 and hopes “other Democrats step up.”
“I think the country would be well served by a new generation of compelling, well prepared, dynamic Democrats to step up. And with that, I hope we see a resurgence of the principled center-right Republican Party reform.”
According to Phillips, his views on Biden were shared by “most of my colleagues.”
Mimi Nguyen Ly and Caden Pearson contributed to this report.