A lone Democratic senator joined Republicans in a series of standing ovations during President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union speech which was delivered on Tuesday night.
Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, applauded when Trump addressed infrastructure investment, the resurgence of coal as part of America’s energy strategy and Christian faith as the center of American life.
“In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of American life. The motto is, ‘In God We Trust,'” Trump said.
In at least one instance, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D.-N.Y., glared at Manchin as he stood, prompting him to take his seat, the Daily Mail reported.
Joe Manchin has been one of the few Dems standing and clapping with Rs for Trump’s applause lines. He’s clapping for this tax cut victory lap, but not standing #SOTU
— Sarah Westwood (@sarahcwestwood) January 31, 2018
Manchin defended his behavior during a Wednesday appearance on “CBS This Morning.”
“There’s so much we need to do,” Manchin said. “And just to sit there and frown is not going to fix anything.”
Must be pretty lonely being Joe Manchin, the only Democrat standing for some of Trump’s applause lines #sotu
— Neil Vigdor (@gettinviggy) January 31, 2018
Manchin also appeared on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday and insisted that supporting the president was a matter of respect.
“That’s the way I was raised in West Virginia,” Manchin said. “There’s some civility still yet, there should be civility in this place.”
Following Trump’s speech, most Democrats exited quickly, but Manchin remained in the House chamber.
“I stood there and shook his hand and thanked him,” Manchin said, referring to Trump. “Because he talked about coal. We’re going to do coal research, research and development. Opiate addiction. I need that.”
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) January 31, 2018
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) January 31, 2018