Here’s what Mitt Romney said about Joe Manchin not running for the Senate in 2024
Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, teased a possible political future in his announcement
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has announced he is not seeking reelection in 2024.
In response to the announcement, Utah’s Sen. Mitt Romney said on social media, “I will miss this American patriot in the Senate. But our friendship and our commitment to American values will not end.”
On Thursday morning, just hours before Manchin’s announcement, the two friends were on CNBC to talk about their new bipartisan Fiscal Stability Act.
In a video statement released on his social media, Manchin said it was “the toughest decision of (his) life” and was made after discussion with his family. He clarified that he will not be completely stepping away from politics, as he hopes to begin a movement to “mobilize the middle and bring Americans together” in order to address the growing divide across party lines.
“I know our country isn’t as divided as Washington wants us to believe,” Manchin said. “We share common values of family, freedom, democracy, dignity and a belief that together we can overcome any challenge.”
Manchin, 75, was sworn into the U.S. Senate in 2010. He has long been the only elected Democrat in West Virginia statewide office, per The Associated Press, and served as governor prior to his time in the Senate.
In his statement, Manchin spoke of his initial desire to enter politics, quoting President John F. Kennedy’s famous line to “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” He said that principle had encouraged him to “work across the aisle and find common ground” throughout his career.
Manchin has previously teased a presidential run as a third-party candidate, per The Associated Press. He has been named as a potential nominee for No Labels, a group looking to give Americans an additional option if President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are at the top of the ballot. Besides Manchin, former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has also been named as a possible No Labels candidate, per Axios.
Manchin’s decision leaves the West Virginia seat open. Manchin has not endorsed any candidate to replace him, although several have already announced they will run. The Associated Press reported that GOP Rep. Alex Mooney announced his candidacy prior to Manchin’s announcement, and Republican state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has hinted that he may run. Democrat Zachary Shrewsbury had announced his candidacy for the race before Manchin bowed out.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, is also running for Manchin’s seat and was ahead of Manchin in polls prior to Wednesday’s announcement. Former President Donald Trump took credit for Manchin’s move, suggesting on his social media site Truth Social that Manchin removed himself from the race in response to Trump’s endorsing Justice for senator.