- Joe Manchin avoided a question on whether he wants the Democratic Party to win the House and Senate.
- Manchin said he thought people were sick of politicians fighting and holding legislation “hostage.”
- He said he’d be OK with whoever the voters choose and would “work with whatever I have.”
Sen. Joe Manchin on Sunday dodged a direct question about whether he wanted the Democratic Party to win the November midterms and keep control of the House and Senate.
Speaking to NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press,” the West Virginia lawmaker said: “I think people are sick and tired of politics, Chuck. I really do.”
“I think they’re sick and tired of Democrats and Republicans fighting and feuding and holding pieces of legislation hostage because they didn’t get what they wanted, or something or someone might get credit for something,” Manchin added.
Todd then pressed Manchin, asking him directly if he wanted the Democrats to win.
“I think the Democrats have great candidates that are running. They’re good people I’ve worked with,” the senator responded. “And I have a tremendous amount of respect and friendship with my Republican colleagues. So I can work on either side very easily.”
“You don’t care about the outcome this year of the election?” Todd asked Manchin.
“Well, whatever — whatever the voters choose. I can’t decide what’s going to happen in Kansas or California or Texas. I really can’t,” Manchin said.
He added that he has always respected the representatives elected by the states and does his best to work with them.
“I don’t play the politics that way. I don’t like it that way,” Manchin added. “That’s not who I am.”
Manchin has been one of the biggest obstacles to the Democrats passing major legislation in the Senate, despite the party having control of the chamber. For one, the senator killed President Joe Biden’s landmark Build Back Better legislation.
In April, Manchin also addressed claims that he might switch parties to the GOP — an idea touted by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — saying he’s “never considered” the idea from “such a standpoint.”
In a surprise U-turn last week, Manchin said he would back the Inflation Reduction Act, a deal that he and Sen. Chuck Schumer cut that allots $370 billion for climate and energy programs and commits the US to a 40% emissions reduction by 2030.