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) 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.) 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 TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated 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.