Manchin: Pence attacking because bipartisan image ‘plays too well with the public’

Manchin: Pence attacking because bipartisan image ‘plays too well with the public’
© Greg Nash

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSenate panel approves Interior nominee over objections from Democrats Labor head warns of 'frightening uptick' in black lung disease among miners Labor leader: Trump has stopped erosion of coal jobs MORE (D-W.Va.) said he believes Vice President Pence is attacking him because Republicans are worried his reputation as a moderate “plays too well with the public,” Politico reported Wednesday.

“They can always count on me to work with them,” Manchin told Politico. “But that works both ways.”

Manchin is up for reelection in November in a state President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rips Dems' demands, impeachment talk: 'Witch Hunt continues!' Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push MORE won by roughly 40 percentage points in 2016.

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Pence last week during a trip to West Virginia sent out a series of tweets criticizing Manchin for voting against a series of Republican bills, including the GOP tax-reform bill and a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, using the hashtag #JoeVotedNo. 

“WV needs to let him know that they EXPECT BETTER & they need to let Joe know that WEST VIRGINIA DESERVES BETTER,” Pence tweeted. 

Manchin responded by saying Pence’s comments are “why Washington sucks,” noting that he had spent the prior week working on a bipartisan bill to end a government shutdown.

On Wednesday, Manchin called Pence’s attacks “disingenuous.”

“He’s not upset. He can’t be upset,” Manchin said.

The Republican tax legislation ultimately passed both chambers of Congress without a single Democratic vote.

Multiple Republicans are vying for a chance to challenge Manchin in November’s election.

Rep. Evan JenkinsEvan Hollin JenkinsWest Virginia New Members 2019 Republican Carol Miller holds off Democrat in West Virginia House race Trump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report MORE (R-W.Va.), West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship will square off in a May 8 GOP primary.