Some donors close to Donald Trump have decided who they want the Republican Party to nominate for president in 2024: Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.
Yes, they’re serious — and they’re willing to spend big money to make it happen.
The presidential shake-up happened during a fundraiser among GOP megadonors for the West Virginia senator, who has been a thorn in his party’s side since Biden’s inauguration.
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“Several top executives said they privately hoped the conservative Democrat would switch parties and run against President Joe Biden in the 2024 election,” CNBC reported.
Talk is cheap in Washington—but it’s not cheap at a $5,000-a-plate dinner.
The fundraiser luncheon took place inside the mansion of Wall Street tycoon Nelson Peltz, and “at least 50 executives” attended, CNBC said. Some of the big donors included Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman, and Home Depot co-founders Ken Langone and Bernard Marcus.
That same mansion once held a fundraiser for Donald Trump.
The donors think Manchin has such a track record for common sense that Americans of both parties could get on board with his campaign for the top office—and Biden is so unpopular that he’s going to go down in flames.
Political strategists have bandied about a Manchin presidential run for years. One D.C. insider says he could “attract the independent voters that the Democrats are now hemorrhaging to Donald Trump because of their radical woke policies.”
“Manchin brings a lot to bear on a potential presidential run,” wrote business and political adviser Grady Means in The Hill. “On the central issue of immigration, Manchin has visited the border this year (as opposed to Biden and the feckless Harris, neither of whom has visited the border since Harris’s visit in June). Unlike Biden, Harris and other likely opponents, Manchin has shown management competence and has effectively run a state as governor. He also had a successful business career.”
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More recently, he fought against the Biden administration’s big-spending “Build Back Better” agenda—which is like the Green New Deal on steroids—and bashed China for outsourcing jobs Americans should be doing…in places like West Virginia.
Some writers have said Manchin might run for president against Joe Biden in the Democratic primaries in two years.
Biden would lose a “Joe vs. Joe” primary, according to Newsmax writer Ralph Benko, because he forgot his own 2020 campaign advice: “People want results, not a revolution.”
Manchin could tap Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona as his running mate and rack up votes in both parties, he said.
But Democrats hate Joe Manchin. They won’t forgive him for stopping their socialist agenda dead in its tracks—and they’d never vote for a Democrat who’s pro-life.
That’s why some people believe he should cross the aisle to run for president.
Former Reagan and George W. Bush adviser Douglas MacKinnon said Manchin should reach across the aisle one more time to tap the strongest possible vice president: Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida. Millions of Americans might embrace” the bipartisan ticket as “pragmatic, commonsense, and yes, even potentially healing.”
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But a lot of conservatives don’t buy it.
“In a Trump vs. Manchin election? Uh, no. DeSantis vs. Manchin? No again,” wrote Allahpundit at HotAir.com. “Why would they choose a centrist Democrat when they could have a Republican?” He thought Manchin might run as an independent presidential candidate.
One thing is for sure: More Republicans like Joe Manchin these days than Democrats.
Republicans have gone out of their way for years to have Manchin switch sides, especially now that the Senate is evenly divided.
“I’ve asked him to. I think every Republican senator has made that case a dozen times to Joe,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex.
Manchin hasn’t exactly rewarded those offers. He said he’s “never considered” switching parties—although he doesn’t seem to completely rule it out.
Manchin’s communications director, Samantha Runyon, said Manchin “is singularly focused on doing what is best for West Virginia” and will “continue representing West Virginians to the best of his ability … regardless of any political affiliation.”
“For his entire career he has always been focused on doing what is right, not pleasing party elites or winning elections,” she said.
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In Washington-speak, that’s what’s known as “a non-denial.”
While he may be keeping his options open, it sounds like Manchin isn’t going to make a presidential run this year.
He’s up for re-election to the Senate in 2024, and he told donors at the Florida fundraiser he plans to run there, which would seem to rule out a presidential bid.
What do you think? Should Joe Manchin switch parties?
Should Joe Manchin switch to the GOP?
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Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”