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Sen. Manchin: ‘I’m Worried’ People Think Dem Party ‘Has Gone Completely Off the Rails’

Craig Millward
By Craig Millward | April 15, 2019 | 2:38 PM EDT

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W Va.) (Screenshot)

Speaking on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” aired on Sunday, Sen Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he is worried about all of the reporting the media gives to “the three that speak out all the time” and “about the perception that people have that the Democratic Party has gone completely off the rails.”

“I’m worried about you all reporting, giving all the ink and all the press to the three that speak out all the time,” stated Sen. Manchin. “The House freshmen. And what, there’s maybe seven of them? And when you look at the people who basically changed the House of Democrats, are all new Democrats, or blue dog, moderate? They get no press. They get nothing.”

 

Manchin was asked by Bob Cusack, Editor-in-Chief of “The Hill” “Are you worried about the direction of your party? Many say the Democratic Party has moved left.”

“I’m worried about you all reporting, giving all the ink and all the press to the three that speak out all the time—” stated Sen. Manchin.

“Three House freshmen,” Cusack said.

 

“The House freshmen. And what, there’s maybe seven of them? And when you look at the people who basically changed the House of Democrats, are all new Democrats, or blue dog, moderate? They get no press. They get nothing. They’re centrist. They come from areas that basically they have to give and take. It’s a process that they have to work through.

“The Josh Gottheimer’s [(D-N.J.)] of the House are getting eviscerated. It’s awful what they’re trying to do to them.”

Sen. Manchin continued, “I worry about the perception that people have that the Democratic Party has gone completely off the rails.”

Cusack then asked “Ok, so along those lines House Democrats have been in control of the House a few months, not led certainly by the freshmen but led by Speaker Pelosi. How would you grade these first few months?”

“I think she’s done an admirable job,” Manchin said. “I really do. Trying to— I mean, you talk about herding cats. That’s a tough one.”

“That’s a tough job?” asked Cusack. “Do you think that the House Democrats have been responsible?”

Manchin replied “Let me just say this. Yes, I think she has been looking at this and trying to be. There’s no impeachment. She knows that. We’re not going down that path. There’s no votes. So she can count. She has— She’s a veteran. She’s not going to let that happen. She’s just not. That’s smart. She took it off the table immediately. You want to go out and campaign and play games with it? Fine. That doesn’t have any traction here. That’s great. 

“She knows that health care has to be fixed. Don’t throw it out. She knows that Attorney General Barr should be the Attorney General for all the people and not just for the White House. She gets all this. And she’s, I think, doing a good job,” Sen. Manchin continued. “When I look and see – and I like Paul, I like Paul Ryan. He was a good man. He had a hard time operating that. And I’m not sure, I’m not sure on Kevin [McCarthy]. I don’t know Kevin as well as I knew Paul. And I didn’t know Paul or Kevin as well as I knew my buddy before that. So, it’s a tough job over there.”

Later in the interview, Cusack told Manchin “You’ve left the door open for possibly supporting President Trump in 2020.”

Manchin replied “I just said, I represent the State of West Virginia, and I really think—”

“Which strongly supported Trump. 42 points,” Cusack interjected. 

“Right,” Manchin said. “And we look at that. And I look at all the values that we have. And I’ll support the best person I think represents my state and who I think is going to be the best for the country. So I take both of those extremely important, into consideration when I make that determination. I just didn’t close the door on anything.”

Cusack then asked, “Is there any chance you can support Bernie Sanders for president?” 

Manchin replied, “I wouldn’t take anything off the table, depending on what their final policies are. Right now to say I will or won’t, I think it’s just— My goodness, we’ve got, we’ve only got 15 in, there’s a lot of room for about 5 or 10 more.” 

In 2018, Sen. Joe Manchin was re-elected to the Senate in the state of West Virginia by a slim margin over then-Republican candidate Patrick Morrisey 49.6 percent to 46.3 percent respectively.

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