Manchin refuses to say whether he thinks Biden deserves a second term: ‘I’m not speculating on it’


Washington (CNN)Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia refused to say Sunday whether he thinks President Joe Biden deserves a second term in office.

“I’m not getting involved in any election right now. 2022, 2024, I’m not speculating on it. President Biden is my president right now. 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,” Manchin told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” when asked whether he thinks Biden deserves to be reelected in two years.

Biden lost Manchin’s home state of West Virginia by 39 points in 2020.

    Manchin says Republicans in 'normal times' would be supporting energy, health care bill

    Asked by NBC on Sunday if he hopes Democrats keep control of the US House and the Senate in the upcoming midterm elections, Manchin again appeared reticent, saying: “You know, I’m not making those choices or decisions on that.”

      “I’m going to work with whatever I have. I’ve always said that. I think the Democrats have great candidates that are running. They’re good people I’ve worked with. And I have a tremendous amount of respect and friendship with my Republican colleagues,” he said. “So I can work on either side very easily.”

        The comments from Manchin, a moderate Democrat whose reluctance to support some of Biden’s domestic agenda has at times prevented the President from achieving some legislative goals, further underscore his unpredictable nature as a swing vote within the party. They also come as more and more Democrats say they want someone other than Biden as their presidential nominee in 2024.

        A CNN poll released last week found that 75% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters want the party to nominate someone other than the President in the 2024 election, a sharp increase from earlier this year. The results accompany low approval ratings for Biden amid widespread discontent with the state of the country and the economy.

          An earlier CNN Poll, conducted in January and February, showed 51% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters saying they wanted someone other than Biden to be the Democratic nominee in the next presidential election.

          The White House said last year that Biden intends to run for reelection in 2024, following a report indicating that the commander in chief and his staff are attempting to assuage concerns about his future political prospects.

          Last week, Manchin handed the President a potential legislative victory after he and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced a deal on a major energy and health care bill that represented a breakthrough after more than a year of negotiations that have collapsed time and again.

            Manchin told Tapper on Sunday that Biden deserved credit for the agreement.

            “You don’t do a bill this magnitude and this size without the President knowing what’s going on, the President being involved in, to a certain extent, but also giving approval. And that’s what President Biden did,” he said.

            CNN’s Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.