Joe Manchin Refuses to Answer if He Still Identifies as a Democrat
Joe Manchin isn’t into labels, apparently. At least not political ones.
The West Virginia Senator went on a Fox News media run Sunday, where he refused to answer directly if he identifies as a member of the Democratic Party.
“I identify as an American,” Manchin said when asked repeatedly by host Maria Bartiromo if he still considered himself a Democrat. “I’m an American through and through.”
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 26, 2023
Manchin faces an extremely uphill battle in 2024 as a Democrat elected in a state that voted for Trump by 39 points in 2020. He hasn’t yet said if he’ll run again, but the incumbent does serve as one of the Democrats’ best chances to keep their slim Senate majority.
Although the staunch moderate continued to try and find a more neutral path Sunday, he did publicly stand by his vote for the Inflation Reduction Act. When asked if he regrets voting for the spending bill, Manchin remained firm, calling it “the most transformative bill that we’ve ever had” in his time as a Senator.
Manchin was first elected to the Senate in a 2010 special election, succeeding long-running senator Robert Byrd after he died. West Virginia, a longtime Democratic state, has trended rapidly to the right over the last few decades.
Bill Clinton won the state in both his presidential bids, carrying it by almost 15 percent in 1996—but that was the last time the state would vote for a Democrat for president.
West Virginia’s other senator, Republican Shelley Moore Capito, swept the state in 2020 with 70 percent of the vote.
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