White House tries to lock down deal with Manchin, Sinema
Manchin: 'I don't give a s---' if I win reelection
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is ripping into critics who want him to fully commit to Democratic policy points, saying he won't be pressured into taking stances he disagrees with just to win an election.
"I don't give a shit, you understand? I just don't give a shit," Manchin told the Charleston Gazette-Mail on Sunday. "Don't care if I get elected, don't care if I get defeated, how about that. If they think because I'm up for election, that I can be wrangled into voting for shit that I don't like and can't explain, they're all crazy."
"I'm not scared of an election, let's put it that way. Elections do not bother me or scare me," he said. "I'm going to continue to do the same thing I've always done, extremely independent."
Manchin is up for reelection in a state that President Trump won by a wide margin. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice publicly switched from the Democratic Party to the GOP at a Trump campaign rally in the state last week.
Manchin's comments were in response to an attack on him from GOP senatorial candidate Patrick Morrisey, who called for Manchin to resign from Democratic leadership and accused him of not fully representing his constituents' interests.
Morrisey specifically noted Manchin's refusal to sign a letter establishing Democrats' three main policy points on tax reform. Manchin was one of three Senate Democrats who didn't sign the letter, saying that he agreed with everything in the platform but that he wanted party leaders to try and bring Republicans on board with the plan.
"The bottom line is, if it doesn't help West Virginia, it doesn't make sense to me, and just because there's an election doesn't mean I sign on or don't sign on," Manchin told the Gazette-Mail.
"If you look at all the time I've been here, there's stuff I don't sign on to. I just don't think it's a good way to do business when you don't try to get people from the front end."
The Senate GOP plans to take up tax reform as the next major item on its legislative agenda when the chamber returns from recess next month.