Manchin responds to Pence attacks: ‘This is why Washington sucks’

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump Jr. to hold fundraiser for Manchin challenger History argues for Democratic Senate gains Pollster: Kavanaugh will get Dem votes MORE (D-W.Va.) and Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceTrump, Pence offer condolences to families of Missouri boat tour victims GOP to hold 2020 convention in Charlotte Election Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas MORE exchanged rhetorical volleys on Wednesday that led to Manchin saying Pence's comments represent "why Washington sucks."

"The vice president's comments are exactly why Washington sucks. I’m disappointed in his comments but will continue to work to make Washington work so West Virginia and our country work," Manchin said in a statement. 

"Last week, I worked in a bipartisan way with Senator [Susan] Collins to end the shutdown, and last night President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump warns Iran's Rouhani: Threaten us 'and you will suffer' Pompeo: Iran's leaders resemble the mafia NYT's Haberman: Trump 'often tells the truth' MORE called for unity and bipartisanship," he said. 

Manchin's comments come after Pence attacked the West Virginia Democrat, who often finds himself breaking with his party in the Senate, for voting against the recent tax-reform bill after Pence lobbied him on the legislation.

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"I was in WV a few months ago & I spoke to the WV Chamber of Commerce. @Sen_JoeManchin was there — & I looked him in the eye and I told him, 'Joe, the people of the Mountain State are counting on you,' so let’s 'get this tax cut done together.' But #JoeVotedNo," Pence tweeted earlier Wednesday.

".@Sen_JoeManchin is going to keep voting against West Virginia & I think Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerData confirm that marijuana decriminalization is long overdue Pollster: Kavanaugh will get Dem votes Democrats slam Trump for considering Putin’s ’absurd’ request to question Americans MORE & Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiGOP strategist: Putin press conference 'made Trump look weak' Sanders advises Ocasio-Cortez: Keep doing what you've been doing Trump endorses Ohio candidate in special election MORE are pretty happy w/ the way he votes. But WV needs to let him know that they EXPECT BETTER & they need to let Joe know that WEST VIRGINIA DESERVES BETTER," he added.

Manchin retorted later Wednesday that Pence had pushed legislation "in a divisive and partisan way" and now continued "his partisan attacks" even after President Trump "called for unity and bipartisanship" in Tuesday night's State of the Union address.

"I was shocked that after the Vice President worked for almost a year in a divisive and partisan way to take health care away from almost 200,000 West Virginians, bankrupt our hospitals, and push tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and huge corporations that he would come to West Virginia and continue his partisan attacks," Manchin tweeted.

 

The GOP's tax-reform bill passed the House and Senate last year, and was signed into law in December. The bill did not pick up any Democratic support, and Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCongress has five ways to show American power against Russia History argues for Democratic Senate gains GOP to White House: End summit mystery MORE (R-Tenn.) defected and voted against the bill as well.