Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) has had it with political quibbling and says he doesn’t take policy positions because they are Democratic, he takes them because he believes in them.
So, when Democrats pressured Manchin into signing a letter that laid out their three main policy points on tax reform, he was comfortable saying no. With calls for him to switch to the Republican Party and follow in the footsteps of West Virginia governor Jim Justice surfacing this week, Manchin made it clear that what is best for West Virginia doesn’t have a Party label attached to it and that he “doesn’t give a sh– about winning elections.”
“I don’t give a sh-t, you understand? I just don’t give a sh-t,” Manchin told the Charleston-Gazette Mail on Sunday. “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 sh-t that I don’t like and can’t explain, they’re all crazy.”
He then re-characterized his “I don’t care” phrasing.
“I’m not scared of an election, let’s put it that way. Elections do not bother me or scare me,” he said. “I’m going to continue to do the same thing I’ve always done … extremely independent.”
Manchin has been the farthest right Democrat in the Senate since his assumption of the position in 2010. He voted yes on virtually all of Trump’s cabinet appointments, has worked with Republicans on gun rights and abortion legislation, voted no on Obama’s DREAM Act, and voted to defund Planned Parenthood in both 2015 and this year.
GOP senatorial candidate Patrick Morrisey has tried to turn his status as a Democrat against him, calling for Manchin to resign from Democratic leadership and accusing him of not fully representing his constituents’ interests. Manchin says this is always how he’s operated: looking at both sides.
“The bottom line is if it doesn’t help West Virginia, it doesn’t make sense to me. And just because there’s an election doesn’t mean I sign on or don’t sign on,” Manchin told the Gazette-Mail. “If you look at all the time I’ve been here, there’s stuff I don’t sign on to. I just don’t think it’s a good way to do business when you don’t try to get people from the front end.”
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