Manchin tells colleagues he's running for reelection: report

Manchin tells colleagues he's running for reelection: report
© Keren Carrion

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDemocrats brush off GOP 'trolling' over Green New Deal Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general GOP wants to pit Ocasio-Cortez against Democrats in the Senate MORE (D-W.Va.) told colleagues on Tuesday that he would seek reelection, according to a report from The New York Times.

Manchin told the Times he had repeatedly expressed his frustration with Congress to his colleagues, going so far as to tell them "this place sucks."

“I was very vocal,” Manchin said in the interview. “They read between the lines.”

But Manchin told the Times that he signaled on Tuesday to Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration MORE's (D-N.Y.) aides that he would run again after all.

Manchin is considered one of the most conservative Democrats in the chamber, and has faced scrutiny from his party for refusing to sign on to a letter outlining Democrats’ policy points on tax reform.

Speculation over whether Manchin would run has been swirling as his state has shifted farther to the right. President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ MORE won West Virginia by more than 40 points, and Democratic Gov. Jim Justice publicly switched to the GOP at a Trump campaign rally in August.

Manchin’s ambivalence about running was clear in August, when he said that he doesn’t “give a shit” if he is reelected.

“Don’t care if I get elected, don’t care if I get defeated, how about that,” he said at the time. “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.”

According to the Times, several other red-state Democrats lobbied Manchin to run. 

Manchin said that other members of the party will have to tolerate more moderate Democrats if they intend to take back the Senate in the 2018 midterms.

“I’ve said this point blank,” Manchin said. “If people like me can’t win from red states, you’ll be in the minority the rest of your life.”

Manchin’s commitment to running comes just after the three-day government shutdown, which he opposed. Democrats further to the left criticized Schumer for taking a deal from Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems think they're beating Trump in emergency declaration battle Sanders: 'Not crazy' about nixing the Senate filibuster McCabe: No one in 'Gang of Eight' objected to FBI probe into Trump MORE (R-Ky.) that did not include legislation to protect certain immigrants from deportation.

Manchin celebrated the end of the shutdown with the bipartisan “Common Sense coalition” that helped forge the agreement with McConnell, saying, “That just reaffirms that, goddamn it, the place is much better than we give it credit for,” according to the Times.

—Updated at 5:02 p.m.