If Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) ran for president on a third-party ticket, according to Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), he would essentially “elect Donald Trump.”
Romney’s remarks come as Manchin, a member of the moderate No Labels movement, keeps hinting at a potential third-party run.
He talked with No Labels in a town hall this week in New Hampshire, but he avoided answering the question of whether he will run. Romney thinks that if he does decide to run, Trump will win the presidency.
“The No Labels effort would elect Donald Trump. I asked my chief strategist: ‘What would a candidate have to be like in order to draw [voters] from Donald Trump as opposed to drawing from Joe Biden?’ He said it would have to be someone to the right of Donald Trump.” Romney said in a statement to reporters.
“And a poll would prove it. By the way, we do all this talking. Just run a poll. Run a poll: Biden versus Trump. Then run the same poll: Biden, Trump, Manchin — and see who is affected. I know the answer.” he continued.
One of the former president’s most vocal Republican detractors, Romney has frequently drawn his wrath.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) mostly concurred with Romney’s assessment but cautioned that it can be difficult to foresee how a third-party candidacy will play out.