Manchin Fine-Tunes His Labeling

Senator endorses GOP colleague Lisa Murkowski in her primary
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2022 2:00 PM CST
Manchin Explains His Kind of Democrat
Sen. Joe Manchin, shown in January on Capitol Hill, said Sunday he's a "good old West Virginia Democrat."   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

(Newser) – A frequent irritant to President Biden and much of the Democratic Party for not supporting their legislation, Sen. Joe Manchin took a shot Sunday at explaining where the misunderstanding might be. "I'm not a Washington Democrat, I'm a good old West Virginia Democrat, who likes all my West Virginia Republicans," Manchin said, "and I know that I have to have their input for us to get good outcomes for our West Virginia citizens we represent." He made the comments on CNN's State of the Union in a conversation about bipartisanship, the Hill reports.

Perhaps illustrating his point, Manchin endorsed a Republican in the same appearance: Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who's up for reelection this year. Manchin explained his support, per Axios, by saying, "It's hypocritical to basically work with a person day in and day out and when they're in cycle, you're supposed to be against them because they have an R or D by their name." Along with six other Senate Republicans, Murkowski voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial, for which the Alaska GOP censured her.

Trump then endorsed Murkowski's most prominent GOP opponent, Kelly Tshibaka, in the Alaska primary. There's been talk among Democrats about putting up a challenger to Manchin, as well. Murkowski said Sunday on the program that she, in turn, would cross party lines to help Manchin. "If he's running, I'll endorse him," she said. Murkowski was elected in 2010 in a write-in campaign after losing the Republican primary, per the AP. (Read more Joe Manchin stories.)

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