As rumors swirl about West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin potentially launching a bid for the White House, a reporter asked if he still even identifies as a Democrat.
Sen. Manchin did not directly answer the question, instead stating that he identifies “as an American.”
Manchin’s political future and party were discussed during an interview on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“I identify as an American,” Manchin said. “I’m an American through and through.”
The moderate senator’s term ends in 2024 and there has been much speculation in the media about his plans for the future. He has stated that he will not be running for governor, but has been evasive with questions about a presidential run.
“My main concern is how do we bring this country together?” Manchin said. “How do we make it work? How do we make Democrats, Republicans become Americans again, and not just party affiliates?”
In December, Manchin said he had no intention of switching to an independent but suggested that might change in the future.
“I don’t know how you get more independent than I am,” he said, according to a report from ABC News. “I look at all of these things, I’ve always looked at all of these things. But I have no intention of doing anything right now. Whether I do something later, I can’t tell you what the future is going to bring.”
The senator has long been the subject of ire from Democrats over his refusal to cave to their every whim.
“I’m not a Washington Democrat, I don’t know what to tell you,” Manchin said. “But I have a lot of friends who aren’t Washington Republicans and if a Washington independent is, as I said, more comfortable, you know we’ll see what happens there, we’ll have to look. People were registering more for independents than any party affiliation. They are sick and tired of it.”