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In a post-2021 election interview Wednesday, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin responded to radical Missouri Rep. Cori Bush’s divisive attacks on him by reminding her that she doesn’t know either him or his state.
A day before the election, Bush had launched a full-frontal attack on the senator, accusing him of being “anti-black,” “anti-woman” and “anti-immigrant” for not supporting President Joe Biden’s exorbitant Build Back Better plan.
The congresswoman believes the president’s agenda would help her constituents, and so she greatly resents Manchin for refusing to play along.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 2, 2021
But speaking on Fox News’ “Special Report” a day after the election, Manchin reminded the congresswoman that he represents West Virginia, not Missouri.
“I would just say the congresswoman doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know me. And I’m happy to talk to her. I think maybe she will have a different opinion. Go home to West Virginia and ask people, and I think you will get a different opinion,” he told Fox News host Bret Baier.
Bush specifically represents Missouri’s first congressional district, a Democrat stronghold that includes St. Louis. Manchin meanwhile represents all of West Virginia, a heavily Republican state that voted for John McCain in 2008, Mitt Romney in 2012, and Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020.
“This is a shame when we start this war of words. I’m not going to speak ill about any of my congressional friends and colleagues on the House side or the Senate side. We can have a difference of opinion. The rhetoric around here has gotten so harsh and so toxic that you can’t agree to disagree anymore,” the senator continued.
“You can’t sit down and say, OK, I disagree with you, Bret. You’re going to say, OK, Joe, do we agree on the same problem? I said, yes. Let’s start working. Tell me what you think you would fix it. That’s not happening,” he added.
He noted that part of the problem is that the so-called “progressives” are virtually undefeatable in their Democrat-stronghold districts, so they don’t understand the dynamics of running for office in a purple or red district.
This prompted Baier to ask, “Has your party left you?”
“I’m a West Virginia Democrat, Bret,” Manchin responded, before hesitating.
Note that Baier’s line of questioning came only weeks after rumors had emerged that the West Virginia senator was considering leaving the party.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 21, 2021
“I don’t know — I don’t know where maybe I belong at times. But I believe I’m fiscally responsible and socially compassionate. And you know what? I have a lot of Democrats that feel the same as I do. I have a lot of Republicans feel the same as I do,” the senator continued.
Unfortunately, save for Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the Democrats who allegedly “feel the same” tend to remain quiet, refusing to publicly challenge the whims of “progressives” like Bush.
Earlier in the interview with Baier, Manchin expressed hope that the Democrats’ devastating defeat in Virginia will serve as a “wake-up” call for them.
(Video: Fox News)
“I hope it’s a wake-up call for all of us. I’m concerned. I’ve been talking about our debt, I’ve been talking about inflation, [and] I’ve been talking about the [economic] fallout we may have [from the spending bills],” he said.
But his concerns have mostly been dismissed. In fact, on Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided to outright rebuke them by announcing she’d be re-adding four weeks of paid family and medical leave to the Build Back Better bill being debated.
The entitlements were previously removed from the bill reportedly on account of Manchin.
Sen. Patty Murray joins Gillibrand in refusing to accept news that Manchin is forcing paid leave out of the bill: “We are not going to allow one or two men to tell women, millions of them in this country, that they can’t have paid leave.”
— Kate Riga (@Kate_Riga24) October 27, 2021
“The speaker’s move amounted to the most direct challenge yet of Mr. Manchin, a centrist who has repeatedly voiced concern that the social safety net bill is overly generous, and whose objections have effectively compelled Democratic leaders to either curtail or remove a number of provisions,” The New York Times reported.
Note that the move came after Democrats got decimated in Virginia (and elsewhere). It’s as if Pelosi took the exact opposite lesson of what Virginia voters had been trying to tell the party.
Indeed, the president himself doubled down on his agenda during remarks made from the White House late Wednesday afternoon:
Q: As leader of the Dem Party how much responsibility do you take for the dismal results of Virginia?
Biden: “What I do know is that people want us to get things done & thats why Im continuing to push very hard the Dem Party to move along & pass my infrastructure & my BBB bill” pic.twitter.com/6HfvAXDEO8
— Mona Salama (@MonaSalama_) November 3, 2021
“What I do know is that people want us to get things done and that’s why I’m continuing to push very hard for the Democratic Party to move along and pass my infrastructure bill and my Build Back Better bill,” he said.
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