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Joe Manchin will not launch third-party presidential run

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced Friday that he will not be running for president, shooting down months of speculation that he would join the race on a third-party ticket. 

‘I will not be seeking a third-party run, I will not be involved in a presidential run,’ Manchin said. 

Manchin made the announcement during a speech at West Virginia University as part of his ‘listening tour’ that kicked off last month with his daughter’s campaign group ‘Americans Together’ — a movement that touts itself as the ‘moderate majority’ that rejects the ‘extremism in politics.’ 

‘I’m working with my daughter, working with people that we have around Americans Together and putting all my efforts toward that,’ he said Friday.

Manchin previously said he would not make a decision on whether he would run until after Super Tuesday on March 5. 

‘People are looking for options,’ Manchin said at the time. ‘And we’re going to be looking at that, too.’ 

On Thursday, Manchin said in a hypothetical run he would tap Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, or former Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman to be his vice presidential running mate, but later added he’s not ‘running for anything.’

‘Hypothetically, if I was picking my running mate, really who I would ask right now is Mitt Romney,’ Manchin told voters at the City Club of Cleveland breakfast forum Thursday.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor who ran for the White House in 2008 and 2012, jokingly called Manchin’s remarks ‘presumptuous.’ 

‘I would be the president. He would be my running mate,’ Romney said in a statement to Deseret News when asked about Manchin’s comment.

Romney also announced last year that he would not seek re-election to the Senate when his term expires in 2025. 

‘No, I’m not going to run for president,’ he added. ‘Certainly I’m not running for vice president. But (Manchin is) kind to say that. We’re good friends.’

No Labels, the third-party effort that is on the ballot in several states and was rumored to be considering placing Manchin on a presidential ticket, said it is considering other potential candidates for a ‘unity ticket.’

‘No Labels has spent 14 years working to create a movement for America’s commonsense majority and we welcome Senator Manchin’s efforts to strengthen it,’ No Labels co-chairs former Sen. Joe Lieberman, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., and former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said in a joint statement.

‘No Labels is currently speaking with several exceptional leaders about serving on the presidential Unity ticket. We are continuing to make great progress on our ballot access efforts and will announce in the coming weeks whether we will offer our line to a Unity ticket.’

Fox News’ Aubrie Spady and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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