Democratic senator defends Koch brothers

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) on Thursday criticized members of his party for trying to "beat up" Republican donors Charles and David Koch.

“This type of rhetoric does not help move this country forward or move the agenda forward,” Manchin said on Fox News’s “Fox and Friends,” referring to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) critical remarks about the Koch brothers. 

Democrats in recent months have stepped up their attacks on the brothers, who prominently fund conservative political ads and campaigns. 

“People want jobs. You don’t beat up people. I don’t agree with their politics or philosophically,” Manchin said of the Kochs. “They’re Americans — they’re paying their taxes, they’re not breaking the law, they’re providing jobs.”

Manchin said more moderate members in his caucus need to move this country forward instead of engaging in partisan attacks. 

“If you’re trying to rally the base, the bases have already been rallied. The right and the left have been rallied,” he said.

Manchin said that he doesn’t understand how elected officials are expected to raise money attacking their colleagues with whom they are expected to compromise on Capitol Hill.

“That doesn’t work back in West Virginia,” he said. 

Asked if his party will lose control of the Senate in November, Manchin said he thinks “it will be close no matter what happens," but that he thinks Democrats will hold between 51 and 53 seats in the Senate. 

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