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

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinManchin says he won't support LGBTQ protection bill as written Senators offer bipartisan bill to fix 'retail glitch' in GOP tax law Murkowski, Manchin call for 'responsible solutions' to climate change MORE (D-W.Va.) and Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceTrump health chief backs needle exchanges in anti-HIV strategy Pence travels to Nebraska to survey flood damage Pence traveling to SC for Graham reelection launch 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 mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 SchumerGOP senator: Trump's criticism of McCain 'deplorable' Schumer to introduce bill naming Senate office building after McCain amid Trump uproar Why we need to build gateway now MORE & Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiRisk-averse Republicans are failing the republic The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Dems put manufacturing sector in 2020 spotlight Trump, Saturday Night Live and why autocrats can't take a joke 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 CorkerTrump keeps tight grip on GOP Brexit and exit: A transatlantic comparison Sasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger MORE (R-Tenn.) defected and voted against the bill as well.