Political commentator and former Arkansas Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee told Newsmax on Wednesday that if retiring West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin decides to run for president in 2024, it will "no doubt" pull votes away from Democrat incumbent President Joe Biden.
"There's no doubt about it," Huckabee said during "Eric Bolling The Balance" on Wednesday. "Manchin gives what I call 'sane' Democrats a place to go. They certainly can't, really in good conscience, support Joe Biden. Some of them won't support [Robert F. Kennedy] Jr., even though I think he has credibility as a candidate. I think he's staked out a very important space."
NBC News reported Wednesday that Manchin, who previously said he planned to retire from the Senate, said during an interview that he would "absolutely" consider throwing his hat in the ring.
"I will do anything I can to help my country, and you're saying, 'Does that mean you would consider it?' Absolutely," he said. "Every American should consider it if they're in a position to help save the country. I think we are on the wrong course."
According to the report, Manchin said he would decide about entering the race around Super Tuesday, which would likely be too late to run against Biden as a Democrat, probably taking the independent tack like RFK Jr.
"I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure, to mobilize that moderate, sensible, common-sense middle," Manchin said. "I'm totally, absolutely scared to death that Donald Trump would become president again. I think we will lose democracy as we know it. The bottom line is, I'm as independent as it becomes."
While Huckabee said Manchin could become a candidate for the office and run as an independent, he is not going to win the White House.
"Joe Manchin is not going to win the presidency, especially if he runs as an independent," Huckabee said. "You just can't do it. Ross Perot had almost as much money as God, and he couldn't pull it off, and the reason is because the parties have spent billions of dollars and decades building an infrastructure that allows them to organize all the way down to the household level.
"Every street, every block, every house. You just can't build that from scratch. Unless you've got hundreds of billions of dollars."
He said that even if Manchin can't win, he supports a run if it will help put former President Donald Trump back in office.
"So, it's a fool's errand," he said. "But if he wants to do it, you know he may help us get Donald Trump back in office. And if he does that, man, I'm all for it."
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Charles Kim ✉
Charles Kim, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years in reporting on news and politics.
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