Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) got defensive with a reporter during an interview about his apparent pandering to West Virginia voters who strongly support President Trump. Indeed, the governor of the state just switched parties from Democrat to Republican last week!
This puts the centrist Manchin in a bind because he wants to appear independent to his constituents, but he also wants to get along with his fellow Democrats. The tension appears to be getting to Manchin, who started cursing up a storm when asked about his reelection campaign for 2018.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports:
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is one of three Senate Democrats who didn’t sign a letter establishing the party line on tax reform, though he said Tuesday he agrees with all its components.
Manchin, who is up for re-election in 2018, said even though he supports the Democrats’ fiscal ideas, he won’t sign on without efforts to bring Republicans on board. He also said the election is not influencing his decision-making.
. . . . When asked if [his likely 2018 GOP opponent Patrick] Morrisey’s request and related messaging attempting to tie him in with Democratic leadership affected his decision to not sign the letter, Manchin said he doesn’t care about the attacks and they don’t affect policy decisions.
“I don’t give a s–t, you understand? I just don’t give a s–t,” he said. “Don’t care if I get elected, don’t care if I get defeated, how about that. If they think because I’m up for election, that I can be wrangled into voting for s–t that I don’t like and can’t explain, they’re all crazy.”
“I’m not scared of an election, let’s put it that way. Elections do not bother me or scare me. I’m going to continue to do the same thing I’ve always done, extremely independent.”
If he doesn’t care, why should his constituents? President Trump could use another GOP vote in the Senate.