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Manchin tells colleagues he's running for reelection: report

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

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSunday shows preview: Manchin makes the rounds after pivotal role in coronavirus relief debate Biden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package Schumer insists Democrats unified after chaotic coronavirus debate 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.”

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But Manchin told the Times that he signaled on Tuesday to Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food Ron Johnson forces reading of 628-page Senate coronavirus relief bill on floor 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 TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout 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. 

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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 McConnellBiden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package GOP votes in unison against COVID-19 relief bill Senate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote 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.