CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A day after Vice President Mike Pence ripped U.S. Senator Joe Manchin for his lack of support of the tax reform plan, Manchin fired back.
Speaking on MetroNews “Talkline” Thursday, Manchin regarded Pence’s remarks as an example of why nothing gets done in Washington, or in the Senator’s words why, “Washington sucks.”
Manchin said he’ll have no problem bringing up the remark when he sees Pence again.
“I’ll say Mr. Vice-President if you’ve got something to say, say it to me,” Manchin noted. “Don’t tell me one thing one day and then come and take a cheap shot at me in my state.”
Manchin believed Pence’s remark was politically motivated and designed to get a firery reaction from the far right. He added it’s clear evidence the desire for bi-partisanship by the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans is false.
“I have voted 54 percent of the time with the Trump Administration on things I thought were good for West Virginia. If it’s not, I don’t,” Manchin said. “There’s not another person in Congress who votes as bi-partisan as I do. The record speaks for itself. If they are attacking people like me, then they want no bi-partisanship.”
The Senator also took time to address video of him at the State of the Union Address which has been shared on social media this week. During the video it appears Manchin wants to stand and applaud remarks of President Trump, but changes his mind, sits back, and stops clapping.
“When he (Trump) started talking about what the taxes have done, I started up because there were some good things he was talking about,” explained Manchin. “Then I started thinking about all of the people who got hurt in the healthcare system that almost got destroyed, I can’t clap for that.”
Manchin continued to berate the behavior of both parties in Washington. He called the Democrats’ behavior during the Trump speech disrespectful, but added he’s seen it the other way too.
“I sat there when Obama gave a speech and not only did Republicans never get up, the one Republican yelled, ‘You lied.'” said Manchin. “Now you want to talk about disrespectful, I’ve seen it on both sides.”
Despite disagreements with Republican colleagues, Manchin said he remained committed to working across the aisle for legislation to improve the nation and to improve West Virginia. He isn’t sure that’s the desire of others.
“The people who ware fighting like the dickens to replace me, do you think they’re going to reach across the aisle? Do you think they’re going to try and find the middle to make things work? Do you think it’s going to be all about West Virginia or about the party?” he bristled. “There’s not one person who can say Joe Manchin is wedded to the party and they control him. I’m not controlled by anybody.”