Manchin not ruling out endorsing Trump reelection

Manchin not ruling out endorsing Trump reelection
© Greg Nash

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinLawmakers push back at Trump's Pentagon funding grab for wall Overnight Health Care: Appeals court strikes down Medicaid work requirements | Pelosi's staff huddles with aides on surprise billing | Senate Dems pressure Trump to drop ObamaCare lawsuit Senate Democrats pressure Trump to drop ObamaCare lawsuit MORE (D-W.Va.) is not ruling out endorsing President TrumpDonald John TrumpChasten Buttigieg: 'I've been dealing with the likes of Rush Limbaugh my entire life' Lawmakers paint different pictures of Trump's 'opportunity zone' program We must not turn our heads from the effects of traumatic brain injuries MORE’s reelection campaign, even after voting to convict him in the Senate’s impeachment trial. 

“I don’t rule anything out. I really don’t rule anything out,” Manchin said in an interview with Politico. “I’m always going to be for what’s best for my country. Everybody can change. Maybe the president will change, you know? Maybe that uniter will come out, versus the divider.” 

Manchin has faced a barrage of criticism from the White House over his vote to convict Trump on two articles of impeachment after earlier speculation the red-state Democrat might go against his party and vote for acquittal.

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“They are really mad at Senator Joe Munchkin in West Virginia. He couldn’t understand the Transcripts,” Trump tweeted Sunday. 

Manchin has bucked party lines in some high-profile votes, including to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughNikki Haley hires Heritage Action chief to run her policy group Susan Collins in statistical tie with Democratic challenger: poll A disgraced Senate and president have no business confirming judges MORE, in moves that have won him some plaudits from conservative circles. However, Trump still made unseating him a top priority in Manchin’s 2018 midterm campaign. 

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Manchin narrowly won reelection that year by about 3 points, earning just under 50 percent of the vote.

“It’s not different when he wanted to have lunch the week after I was elected. And he said: ‘I knew we couldn’t beat you.’ And I said: ‘It wasn’t for lack of trying.’ Boom, it’s over, let it go. I did. I’m asking him to do the same thing I did,” Manchin told Politico. “He tried to remove me.”

Manchin’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment seeking further guidance on the possibility of an endorsement for Trump.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: Trump has 'all the legal authority in the world' to pardon Stone Overnight Defense: Pentagon policy chief resigns at Trump's request | Trump wishes official 'well in his future endeavors' | Armed Services chair warns against Africa drawdown after trip GOP chairman after Africa trip: US military drawdown would have 'real and lasting negative consequences' MORE (R-S.C.) told Politico he has urged Trump to not completely shut off Manchin, noting the West Virginia Democrat is still a possible vote of support for some aspects of the White House’s agenda.   

Trump “doesn’t believe it today. But there will come a time when we need Joe tomorrow,” Graham said. “We still have a lot to do here. Prescription drugs and a lot of things are gonna be right on the cusp of 60 votes.”