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Joe Manchin Not Endorsing Reid for Leader, Obama for President

4 years ago
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Gov. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, declined over the weekend to endorse Barack Obama for a second term for president or Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as Senate majority leader in interviews with Politics Daily.

"That's such a hypothetical thing, but basically I think there's two more years that have to play out," Manchin said when I asked him if he expects to endorse Obama for a second term. "Things have got to change. People will have time to evaluate and make a decision over the next two years and four years. I just think there's a lot of correction, a lot of changes, a lot of things that need to be fixed before I would say anything about anybody running for office."

Although Manchin has a near-70 percent approval rating in the state, a balanced state budget and endorsements from such right-of-center powerhouses as the National Rifle Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, he is locked in a tight race with Republican John Raese in the contest to fill the unexpired term of the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D).

Manchin, a pro-life, conservative Democrat, is paying for the sins of his party's more liberal leadership in Washington, especially Obama, who lost West Virginia by 13 points in 2008 and now has a 69 percent disapproval rating in the Mountain State. The result is a locally popular governor-- one of the most popular in the country-- who is unwilling to embrace the Democratic leadership in Washington.

Although the governor said he was sure he would caucus with the Democrats in the Senate if he's elected in November, he would not commit to voting for Reid for leader, assuming Reid wins his race against Sharron Angle in Nevada.

"I'll support the person who supports West Virginia," Manchin told me when I asked if he would vote for Reid as Senate leader. When I asked if Harry Reid supports West Virginia, Manchin repeated, "I'm going to support the person who supports West Virginia and I'm not going to support the person who doesn't support West Virginia."

He continued, saying that a Senate leader's position on energy policy has to be one that benefits West Virgina. Reid, along with Obama, pushed this year for an energy reform bill that included a cap on carbon emissions, which would have increased costs for coal-fired power plants.

"This state has produced most of the energy for the East Coast," Manchin said. "We have produced the coal that's made the steel that's built the country and defended this country. We've done it all. We're willing to continue to do the heavy lifting, but if you don't understand that, don't look for my vote or support. I don't care who it is."

For the latest election coverage, follow me on Twitter @1PatriciaMurphy.

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55 Comments

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fyc234

SMART MAN, AND THAT IS WHY HE KEPT HIS SEAT.

November 03 2010 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ron

After reading the political races around the nation, I can only make one point or maybe a few. Every person running for office and is behind, will say and do everything in their respective power to get the vote. I cannot understand a country that allows anyone to run for an office that spends millions of dollars on a $200,000 job. It just does not make any sense. First of all, every representative of states based on number of people is in the house. I am not sure what the number is... however, if these people go to Washington and vote according to their districts, instead of their parties, we would be so much further ahead. I am tired of people following the party instead of following the people. This would create bipartianism. As far as the Senate, we only get two per state (thank GOD). Nontheless, they also should vote regarding how the state feels about an issue. This would bring the government to the people instead of party lines. Remember this will bring government for the people, by the people. One last thing. Why doesn't America lower the corporate tax rate for all businesses doing business in America. In other words, if Ford would sell a car in America, the corporate rate would be 10%, however, if they sell that car in China, then they would pay 20%. We can always talk about businesses having their company in America and only sells in America. Which I think should be the lowest tax break of all. I do not like companies that sell in America, but move to Mexico for lower labor. These companies should be charged the highest rate of tax.

October 28 2010 at 10:47 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
sirbones2

Joe is not going to make it.He needs the southern and ohio countys and he does not have them.He has focused on Fairmont and Morgontown to much and left the rest of WV hanging out to dry.

October 26 2010 at 10:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Rob & Kathy

Finallly, a Democrat with some integrity...

October 26 2010 at 11:11 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
truthforfreedom

This election for the democrats has turned into the biggest farce ever. Now they are all running for cover lying to their constituents telling them they are conservative. I wouldn't trust one for as far as I could throw him. If people are that stupid, they deserve what they get. Look at his record as Governor and see just how conservative he is. It's dishonesty at the highest level. Not just for Manchin, but all of these wolves in sheep clothing.

October 25 2010 at 3:25 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to truthforfreedom's comment
tenderlies1

Yeah and there are a lot of sheep in Republican Suits, First order of Business for them is making sure Obama is a one term President Second is Making sure their President has everything he needs like they did for bush for four years WAIT their not sheep their WOLVES in Republican Clothes. They are not worried about our problems they just want control back to rake in some money then give the mess back to the Democrats to clean up

October 25 2010 at 11:33 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
tnickerson08

Desperate times lead to desperate comments; a democrat claims to be conservative in order to win robert byrd's seat? You know that it is 4th and a mile for the democrats, and will say anthing to get elected. I just hope the people of West Virginia are smarter than manchin assumes.

October 25 2010 at 3:06 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
freemountie

I am a West Virginian following this race closely. Manchin is so desperate that he will say just about anything to become the Seanator that he thought was his birthright. Balance of power is absolutely vital in Washington to stop Obama's assault on our freedoms and economy. WV desparately needs someone to balance jay Rockefeller's rubber stamp of Reid, Obama and all things left wing.

October 25 2010 at 2:01 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
stelci

Joe, the solution is easy, and if this article is correct you need to change your party to republican.

October 25 2010 at 2:00 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
plansmaker

The only way to stop Obama is to vote against all democrats. Remove the democrats from power and you will stop Obama._________________________________________________Are you avocateing one party system..cadd? I am an Independent, who don't care about Obama's distructive policies but, I would not want to see a one party system in Washington..Check and Balance is always needed!!!

October 25 2010 at 1:14 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to plansmaker's comment
shutiny

In normal time, you are correct about check and balance. But, in this cycle, we have no other choices but to vote out Dems. In order to change/reverse any damages from the Dem's policies, we need a Repub majority. We should vote out the Repubs that are not doing what people wanted the next election as well.

October 25 2010 at 1:33 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
fuddhouz

Much has been said and written about conservative Republicans forcing the moderates out of their party. Here we have an example of the opposite...moderate and conservative Democrats have no place as their party lurches to the left. Manchin has been an exemplary governor...but in Washington voters fear that he'll be yet another Democrat forced to rubber stamp the administration's policies. Even with the commercial where Manchin loads his rifle and fires a round into the cap and trade bill, the public is suspicious (and not without reason). He'll take care of West Virginia...but will it be the same way that Ben Nelson of Nebraska (The Cornhusker Kickback)or Mary Landreau of Louisiana (The Lousiana Purchase) "took care" of their state in return for backing Obama's agenda? Kentucky has long been Republican in national issues while every bit as Democratic as West Virginia in state races. Perhaps there is something sensible here...at least until the Democratic party regains the centrist position.

October 25 2010 at 1:12 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

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