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) ManchinRomney helps GOP look for new path on climate change Manchin says he won't support LGBTQ protection bill as written Senators offer bipartisan bill to fix 'retail glitch' in GOP tax law 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 CapitoPence, GOP senators discuss offer to kill Trump emergency disapproval resolution Bipartisan think tank to honor lawmakers who offer 'a positive tenor' Trump tries to win votes in Senate fight 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 Schumer4 in 5 Americans say they support net neutrality: poll GOP senator: Trump's criticism of McCain 'deplorable' Schumer to introduce bill naming Senate office building after McCain amid Trump uproar 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 ObamaWhat should Democrats do next, after Mueller's report? Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez's engagement win Obama's endorsement Pence lobbies anti-Trump donors to support reelection: report 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.