Sen. Manchin Might Be Weighing Leaving Democratic Party

Sen. Manchin Might Be Weighing Leaving Democratic Party Sen. Manchin Might Be Weighing Leaving Democratic Party Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., pauses outside the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

By Eric Mack | Tuesday, 21 December 2021 07:57 PM

As the lone Democrat to vow to vote against the Build Back Better Act, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., might now be such a lonely Democrat that he might be forced to not be one any longer, The Washington Times reported.

"I don't know what he will decide to do, but I do know West Virginia has gotten increasingly red," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told the Times. "I think his vote on Build Back Better is reflective of what he's hearing from his constituents in West Virginia."

Cornyn said Manchin would be welcome in the Republican Party, particularly since his addition would give the GOP 51 senators to 47 Democrats and two New England independents who caucus with Democrats.

"We'd love to have him," Cornyn told the Times. "That would change the majority."

Manchin has blasted the White House staffers, specifically press secretary Jen Psaki for borderline bully tactics to earn his vote, but becoming a Republican is not that easy, according to the report.

"It's a tough hill for him to climb," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told the Times. "He's been a Democrat his whole life, and he's really the godfather of Democrats in West Virginia.

"That being said, if they're nasty enough, the best thing that could happen is they could drive him over to the Republican Party, and we would welcome him."

Manchin called out Psaki and the White House staffers' "absolutely inexcusable" pressure tactics in the Build Back Better Act vote negotiations, although Psaki told reporters she has "no regrets" on her tough talk.

"You all are approaching legislation as if you have 55 or 60 senators that are Democrats, like you could do whatever you want," Manchin told a West Virginia radio station Monday. "They figured surely to God we can move one person.

"Well, guess what? I'm from West Virginia. I'm not from where they're from and they can just beat the living crap out of people and think they'll be submissive."

Black Lives Matter activist turned Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., considers Manchin's vote holdout racist.

"It's tremendously frustrating for me, as a Black man in America, because once again, it's an example of Joe Manchin as a white man showing that he doesn't care about Black people, he doesn’t care about Latinos," Bowman said, the Times reported.

"He doesn't care about the poor. He has the privilege to kick the can down the road and not vote for this bill while the people in my district are suffering."

Manchin has his Senate seat until he is up for reelection in 2024 at least.

"He has it rough now, but that's nothing compared to the political gymnastics that would be needed to secure reelection in West Virginia as a freshly minted Republican with a record going against Trump," a West Virginia Democratic strategist told the Times. "His strength is in a general election where a minority of Republicans feel comfortable crossing over to support him. That group is just big enough to win a general election as a Democrat, but it's too small to win a GOP primary."

There is also talk about potentially becoming a third independent in the Senate, although that would leave him out of the big-dollar campaign backing of either party in his 2024 reelection campaign.

"I would like to hope that there are still Democrats that feel like I do," Manchin told the Times. "I say I'm fiscally responsible and socially compassionate. Now, if there are no Democrats like that, they'll have to push me [to] wherever they want to."

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