Republicans are currently courting Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) after he rang the death knell for President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill, which would have been the Biden administration’s most substantial public policy victory.
GOP senators have told Manchin they would welcome him into their caucus if he switched his political allegiances. Although Manchin has given no indication he might flip, Republicans know that they can take the Senate majority if they successfully woo him. Currently, the Senate is evenly split, with Democrats only having the majority via Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaker.
Leading the efforts to woo Manchin is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that Republicans would welcome Manchin with open arms.
“He feels like a man alone. If he were to join us he would be joining a lot of folks who have similar views on a whole range of issues,” McConnell said this week.
Earlier this week, Manchin it back at Democrats, saying they had miscalculated in their efforts to court his vote on the Build Back Better plan, a landmark social spending bill that appears to have died in the Senate since he withdrew himself from negotiations.
“They figured surely to God we can move one person. We surely can badger and beat one person up. Surely we can get enough protestors to make that person uncomfortable enough that they’ll just say, ‘OK I’ll vote for anything,’” he said during a radio interview with West Virginia MetroNews’ Hoppy Kercheval.
“Well, guess what? I’m from West Virginia. I’m not from where they’re from and they can just beat the living crap out of people and think they’ll be submissive, period,” Manchin added.
Manchin did not blame President Joe Biden for the failed negotiations.
“They know the real reason, what happened. … It’s staff-driven. I understand it’s staff. It is not the president. This is staff. And they drove some things, and they put some things out, that were absolutely inexcusable. They know what it is,” Manchin said, though he would not elaborate on what these issues were.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.