Manchin warns Dems, GOP have no reason to work together in third-party push: 'It's a business model'

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin doubled down on his calls this week for a strong third-party movement and argued both parties have no reason to work together because it doesn’t fit their “duopoly” business model.

“You’re dealing with a duopoly here in Washington,” Manchin said during an interview with Axios. “It’s a business model. You have a Republican business model and a Democrat business model. And their whole business model is based around division. If we want you to pick a side, OK, and you pick a side and the other side’s the enemy. And if I can make the other side more of an enemy, you’ll get more active and you’ll get more money and you’ll be more of an activist.”

The moderate Democrat argued that both parties have no reason to work together, because it didn’t play into that model.

“Look at every election, billions and billions more coming in. They don’t want it to be changed. There’s no reason for us to, to sit down and fix things and work together because it doesn’t play into the business model. So I really think there needs to be a third party movement to bring people back,” Manchin, who recently announced he would be retiring, said.

Manchin told Axios that the “business model” in Washington prevents Republicans and Democrats from backing a third party. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)


“And it’s 55 to 60 percent of us live in center left, center right. You’d like to see the Grand Old Party be grand again. You’d like to see the Democratic Party be responsible and compassionate. So we’d like to see that to come and they’re not. They feel homeless and helpless,” he continued.

Manchin has announced he won’t run for president in 2024, but has also said in a hypothetical third-party run he would select either Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney or former Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Fox News Digital previously reported.

He told Axios he would never vote for Donald Trump, but also argued President Biden has gone “too far left.”

“I love my country too much to support or vote for Donald Trump. I know him. Got along fine. We tried to. We were OK until I voted twice to impeach him, and then he got mad. We had a good relationship, but I don’t know what went wrong,” Manchin said, as the crowd at the Axios interview laughed. “But you know, I thought the Democrats were wrong to impeach him.”

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 08: Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) heads to a vote in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol on June 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)


“I thought they should have, you know, censured him. Because I knew it was a political trial. We didn’t have the votes for it. And it’s going to basically, in his personality, who he is, it would just basically give him more gravitas and more energy. And it did. So I said, maybe if you censured him, we could slow him down a little bit and bring him back into more reasonable [sic],” he continued.

Manchin announced last year he would not seek another term representing West Virginia in 2024. He has been a U.S. Senator since 2010 representing the state, which has voted heavily Republican in recent presidential elections. In 2020, Trump carried West Virginia by nearly 40 percentage points.

Manchin said both Trump and Biden were playing to their bases and argued the border bill was discouraging for him.

President Biden and former President Donald Trump. (Fox News)

“You know, the thing that discouraged me more than anything was the border security bill that we had,” he said, before calling out the GOP for not supporting the legislation.

Hanna Panreck is an associate editor at Fox News.

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