Manchin Backs Republican, Slams Build Back Better, in West Virginia GOP Primary Sen. Joe Manchin before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies hearing to discuss the fiscal year 2023 budget of the Department of Justice at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on April 26. (Greg Nash/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 02 May 2022 08:38 AM
Moderate Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin has defended Rep. David McKinley in his Republican primary battle against Rep. Alex Mooney, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Redistricting has forced the two House members to run for Mooney's seat in West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District, and Manchin is standing up for McKinley against accusations that he supported President Joe Biden's massive Build Back Better agenda aimed to bolster healthcare, education, and climate control programs.
The senator speaks in a 30-second McKinley video ad and slams Mooney for suggesting that his opponent fueled Build Back Better by supporting last year's $1 trillion infrastructure law. McKinley joined 12 other House Republicans in voting for the infrastructure legislation.
"For Alex Mooney and his out-of-state supporters to suggest David McKinley supported Build Back Better is an outright lie," said Manchin, whose opposition to Biden's spending bill sank the legislation in the Senate.
"David McKinley has always opposed reckless spending because it doesn't make sense for West Virginia.
"Alex Mooney has proven he's all about Alex Mooney. But West Virginians know David McKinley is all about us."
West Virginians will go to the polls May 10 to decide who will run in November's general election.
Mooney has described the infrastructure law as "a bill no conservative would support," though West Virginia will receive billions of dollars toward road work, broadband internet expansion, and utility projects.
Manchin also supported the infrastructure law despite killing Build Back Better.
"I've always said, 'If I can't go home and explain it, I can't vote for it.' And that's why I opposed Build Back Better," Manchin says in the McKinley spot.
McKinley also supported a commission to investigate the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, though he has said he opposes Speaker Nancy Pelosi's current partisan House select committee comprised of Democrats and two anti-Trump Republicans.
Trump endorsed Mooney on Nov. 15.
"Congressman Alex Mooney is a conservative warrior running in West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District. His opponent is a RINO who supported the 'Unfrastucture Bill' and the Sham January 6 Unselect Committee," Trump said in a statement.
"Alex fights for our Veterans, for Energy and Clean Coal, Election Integrity, our Borders, Jobs, and against the horrible drug epidemic. On May 10th, Vote for Alex Mooney, who has my Complete and Total Endorsement. I love West Virginia!"