Manchin Says He Would Tap Mitt Romney For VP

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said at a breakfast event in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday that he would pick Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) to be his running mate should he hypothetically run for president in 2024, according to a report from NBC News.

“Hypothetically, if I was picking my running mate, really who I would ask right now is Mitt Romney,” Manchin said at the event — a stop on the West Virginia senator’s “listening tour” to hear voters’ concerns and opinions across the country as he considers making a third party run for the presidency against President Joe Biden and likely former President Donald Trump.

Manchin also mentioned former Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) as a possible vice presidential pick.

“Rob’s a dear friend of mine,” Manchin added. “What a good man.”

During his appearance at the City Club of Cleveland breakfast, Manchin also noted several contentious disagreements he previously had with Biden. Manchin’s tour through the country has fueled speculation that he may run for president as an independent or third-party candidate. Democrats fear this scenario could spoil the election for Biden.

The West Virginia Senator has not revealed for sure if he will be running or not. When pressed on his plans for 2024 at a forum for No Labels, an organization seeking to field a third-party presidential candidate, Manchin said, “Guys, listen, I’m not running for anything. I’m basically running to try to get people involved.”

But Manchin has confirmed that he is actively exploring running for office. In response to a question from NBC News, he said, “Third-party run, everything is on the table. Nothing’s off the table. I’m still evaluating all that. Super Tuesday [March 5] pretty much would be a deadline that tells you where you are.”

Manchin and Romney have made jokes about working together as a team. Last week during Senate voting, Romney was walking with Manchin and told him, “We are a team. There’s no question we are.”

Manchin agreed, telling the Utah Senator, “We are. He wants to be the not-stupid party.” Romney quipped, “We’re taking a cognitive test right now, so we’ll let you know.”