Sen. Joe Manchin Says He Would Not Support Bernie Sanders If He’s Democratic Presidential Nominee
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) told Fox News he would “absolutely not” support Bernie Sanders if he won the Democratic nomination, citing his socialist agenda. He did not confirm or deny supporting President Donald Trump.
“I think that Bernie brings a lot to the table, yet makes you think a little bit kind of gets the blood going and stirring and everything, but it’s not practical where I come from,” he said. “Bernie keeps saying ‘Medicare For All,’ I say ‘Bernie, we can’t even pay for medicare for some.'”
When asked by Fox News host Neil Cavuto who he would support if Bernie received the Democratic nomination, he replied: “Well it wouldn’t be Bernie.”
Joe Manchin says he “absolutely will not” support Bernie Sanders’ agenda, says he won’t vote for him vs. Trump, and refuses to rule out voting for Trump pic.twitter.com/7YIds0bI5j
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Cavuto then said, “Alright so it’d be the President unless you leave it blank.”
Manchin only repeated himself, “Wouldn’t be Bernie.”
Pressing him further, Cavuto asked “But would it be Donald Trump?”
Manchin would not rule out supporting Trump, but also did not confirm that he would.
He said, “Let’s just say I’m gonna make decisions based on what’s best for my country and state.”
Manchin’s constituency in West Virginia is highly polarized, making it often difficult for the moderate senator to find middle ground. In 2016, he endorsed Hillary Clinton but later regretted that decision because of her goal of minimizing the coal industry.
His voters, however, were split between Sanders and Trump. Sanders won the democratic primary, gaining a majority vote in every county and beating Clinton by 15.6 points. On the other side of the spectrum, Trump easily won the state’s Republican primary with 77% of votes, according to the Associated Press.
The lack of support in West Virginia for Clinton caused Trump to win a landslide vote of 67.9%.
Manchin has also tried to appeal to his GOP constituents, as he was re-elected last November with 49.5%. He was challenged by Republican attorney general challenger Patrick Morrisey.
In his tenure, he has become a subtle Trump ally, being the only Democrat to clap during Trump’s State of the Union address, getting behind Gina Haspel for CIA director, voting for Trump’ Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, voted for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and even supported the president’s proposed immigration policies.
“I’m with him sometimes more than other Republican senators are with him,” Manchin said last June.
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