Pence pushes Manchin in home state to support Gorsuch

Pence pushes Manchin in home state to support Gorsuch
© Greg Nash

Vice President Pence sought Saturday to pressure Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump rips Dems a day ahead of key White House meeting Senate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank Wealthy outsiders threaten to shake up GOP Senate primaries MORE to support President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, singling out the Democratic senator during a speech in his home state of West Virginia.

"Let me say this to you West Virginia, if we can get the help of Sen. Joe Manchin, and with the help of Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoSenate women: Rules on harassment must change Congress, here's a CO2-smart tax fix to protect, create jobs Women, Dems leading sexual harassment discussion in Congress: analysis MORE [R], Judge Neil Gorsuch will soon become Justice Neil Gorsuch," Pence said during his speech at a construction supply depot.

The comments come as Republican lawmakers in the Senate and the White House push to confirm Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by Justice Antonin Scalia's death last year.

Some Senate Democrats, led by Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmerica isn't ready to let Sessions off his leash Schumer celebrates New York Giants firing head coach: ‘About time’ GOP should reject the left's pessimism and the deficit trigger MORE (D-N.Y.), are vowing to block the nomination, forcing Republicans to secure a filibuster-proof 60 votes to confirm Gorsuch to the high court.

Manchin, a moderate Democrat who is up for reelection in 2018, has said that he remains undecided on Gorsuch, indicating that he we will meet with the nominee before making up his mind.

The West Virginia senator's seat is considered a prime target for Republicans. Trump won West Virginia by 40 points in November, and Republicans hope to seize on his support in the state to expand their majority in the Senate.

The GOP currently holds 52 seats in the upper chamber, meaning they will likely have to win at least eight Democratic votes to confirm Gorsuch. Already, 13 Democrats have vowed to vote against him.

Among the factors driving Democratic opposition to Gorsuch is the Republicans' refusal to hold a hearing last year for former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPatagonia files suit against Trump cuts to Utah monuments Former Dem Tenn. gov to launch Senate bid: report Eighth Franken accuser comes forward as Dems call for resignation MORE's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

Garland has since returned to his post as chief justice of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.