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) ManchinKavanaugh becomes September surprise for midterm candidates Kavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday Kavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow 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 TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president 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 JenkinsMore than 50 Dem House challengers outraise GOP incumbents Key Republican says House taking targeted approach to combating opioid epidemic Dem candidate denies W.Va. is racist for rejecting Obama 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.