GOP woos Sen. Joe Manchin to switch parties after blow up over Biden spending plan

Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/TNS
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  • Joe Manchin
    United States Senator from West Virginia
  • Joe Biden
    Joe Biden
    46th and current president of the United States
  • Mitch McConnell
    Mitch McConnell
    American politician

The GOP has a message for Sen. Joe Manchin: Join our team.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Wednesday took a shot at wooing Manchin into switching parties after his ugly blowup with Democrats over his opposition to President Joe Biden’s social spending plan.

“He feels like a man alone,” McConnell said of the moderate West Virginia Democrat on Hugh Hewitt’s radio talk show. “If he were to join us, he’d be joining a lot of folks who have similar views on a whole range of issues.”

McConnell said Manchin is a fiscally conservative fish out of water in the increasingly progressive Democratic Party.

“I think what Manchin is discovering is there just aren’t any Democrats left in the Senate that are ... terribly concerned about debt and deficit and inflation,” McConnell said.

Among the other sweet nothings McConnell whispered in Manchin’s ear, the powerful GOP leader suggested the senator from coal country could remain chairman of the Energy Committee if he dumped the Democrats and joined Team Red.

“It’s important to West Virginia and all those things,” McConnell said.

Manchin has repeatedly insisted he is a proud Democrat and has no intention of switching parties.

Although he is a household name in West Virginia, Manchin faces an extremely tough reelection battle in 2024 in the now ruby red state that former President Donald Trump won by nearly 40 points.

McConnell says he has pitched Manchin for years on jumping ship, especially as both their home states have veered hard to the right.

The stakes have never been higher. For now the Senate is evenly divided 50-50. That gives Democrats control of the body with Vice President Kamala Harris able to cast tie-breaking votes.

If Manchin were to stop caucusing with Democrats, Republicans would regain control and McConnell would replace Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., as majority leader.

The GOP would then win broad power to block Biden’s agenda and prevent him from appointing federal judges and filling any Supreme Court vacancy that comes up.

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