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) ManchinWashington VIPs gather to celebrate Mark Penn's new book Overnight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps Senate sides with Trump on providing Saudi military support 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 CapitoLawmakers propose boosting park funding with oil money Lawmakers trade barbs, torch Trump at DC soiree Overnight Health Care: Senators unveil bipartisan opioid bill | DOJ to seek reimbursements from opioid companies | Groups looking to end AIDS fear losing ground under Trump 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 SchumerAmtrak to rename Rochester station after Louise Slaughter Conscience protections for health-care providers should be standard Pension committee must deliver on retirement promise 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 ObamaRivals and consumers will rein in Facebook, not regulation Obamas send handwritten note to Parkland students: 'We will be there for you' Water has experienced a decade of bipartisan success 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.