"One more time for the people in the back: No Labels, and their candidates like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema aren't 'bipartisan,'" said one progressive activist. "They are 'corporate-donor-first.'"
As U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin took his so-called "commonsense" message to a New Hampshire audience on Monday, critics blasted the right-wing West Virginia Democrat for promoting a political organization backed largely by Republican donors and—if he decides to run for president next year as many observers believe he might—possibly helping to return former President Donald Trump to the White House.
Speaking alongside fellow headliner and former Republican Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at Monday's No Labels "Common Sense Town Hall" at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire—a key primary state—Manchin said that "I haven't made a decision" about running for president next year, when the coal baron and habitual saboteur of his own party's agenda is also up for Senate reelection.
Claiming that Republicans and Democrats have "gone too far right and too far left," Manchin said the two parties can't be moved toward moderation "unless they're threatened."
Manchin said that if voters have viable alternatives to what critics have called the two-party duopoly, Democrats and Republicans "are in trouble."
Rejecting the notion that he would act as a spoiler were he to run for president, Manchin said that "I've never been in any race I've ever spoiled, I've been in races to win. And if I get in a race, I'm gonna win."
Numerous observers derided the notion that No Labels—a billionaire-backed organization seeking to run a so-called "unity ticket" in 2024—is nonpartisan.
"No Labels is nothing more than a Republican front group," the Progressive Change Campaign Committee tweeted. "They're staffed by Republicans, bankrolled by Republicans, and their third-party gambit will only help elect MAGA Republicans like Trump. Joe Manchin just gives them the patina of bipartisanship."
In a message to Manchin, 2020 GOP presidential candidate and former Republican U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh said that "the world doesn't revolve around you."
"What your country is going through right now is bigger than you and your ambition," he added. "Don't even think about this No Labels bullshit idea of running for president. Put your country first dammit."
Journalist, political activist, and comedian Francesca Fiorentini said it is "hard to hold back the rage at the No Labels group trying to float Manchin as a third-party candidate."
"Make no mistake that billionaires would rather see Trump Part 2 than anyone taking action for working people."
"Make no mistake that billionaires would rather see Trump Part 2 than anyone taking action for working people," she added.
Melanie D'Arrigo, who leads the Campaign for New York Health—which is fighting for single-payer universal healthcare—tweeted a megaphone emoji with the message, "One more time for the people in the back: No Labels, and their candidates like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema aren't 'bipartisan.'"
Sinema, a senator from Arizona who is also up for reelection next year, switched from serving as a Democrat to an Independent in December after long facing criticism for obstructing the party's priorities.
"They are 'corporate-donor-first,'" D'Arrigo added. "They help donors who donate to both sides of the aisle and call it 'bipartisanship.'"