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Manchin hints at potential third-party run after Super Tuesday: ‘People are looking for options’

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Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., teased a potential third-party presidential bid after Super Tuesday March 5. 

'Super Tuesday pretty much confirms whatever is going to happen, what we believe will happen, and we'll see where we go from there,' Manchin told reporters Tuesday, the day of the New Hampshire primary. 

'But people are looking for options, and we're going to be looking at that, too. Whether it's me or whoever it may be, I think there's going to be options available if it goes down the way it's going down.'

Manchin announced he would not seek re-election for his Senate seat last year, creating speculation about whether he'd make a bid in the 2024 presidential race. Manchin, a Democrat, started a nationwide campaign called 'Americans Together,' aiming to unite the country's moderate voters away from the 'extremes' of the left and right. 

'We stand against extremism in politics. It has taken over our political system and taken away our voice,' the Americans Together campaign website states. 'As proud Americans, we agree on more than we disagree. We demand that our politicians put country before party to get things done. Enough is enough.'

Manchin also told reporters he thinks former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley should stay in the race despite a growing choir of GOP lawmakers calling on her to drop out and unite the party behind former President Donald Trump.

Over the weekend, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended his campaign and endorsed Trump.

'I cannot believe the other ones bowled over the way they did. I just can't believe it because it's hard for me to fathom that. The country is divided. We don't need to be divided anymore,' Manchin said Tuesday. 

Creating even more speculation that he may announce a run was his return to the New Hampshire Institute of Politics Jan. 12 to headline Politics and Eggs, a must stop for potential and current presidential contenders.

Manchin has plenty of fellow Democrats terrified the moderate from West Virginia will unintentionally hand the White House over to Trump if he runs.

But Manchin dismisses such warnings, rejecting claims from fellow Democrats that a third-party run would hurt President Biden's chances of re-election in a likely rematch next year with Trump, who remains the commanding frontrunner for the GOP nomination.

'I would never be a spoiler for anybody, and I don't agree with … the analysis that they've come up with,' Manchin told Fox News' host Brett Baier on 'Special Report' in November.

Fox News' Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report. 

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