Manchin 'couldn't believe' seeing Harris's West Virginia TV interview

West Virginia Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSenate rejects GOP effort to add Trump border wall to bipartisan infrastructure deal Youth organizations call on Biden to ensure 'bold' climate investments Democrats barrel toward August voting rights deadline MORE (D), a key swing vote in the Senate, expressed frustration on Friday about an interview Vice President Harris gave to a TV station in the state and said the White House had not notified him beforehand.

Speaking with NBC affiliate WSAZ, the centrist Democrat said the vice president's interview was "not a way of working together" and called on the White House to help find a "bipartisan pathway forward."

“I saw [the interview]. I couldn’t believe it. No one called me [about it],” Manchin said, according to WSAZ. “We’re going to try to find a bipartisan pathway forward, but we need to work together. That’s not a way of working together.”


Harris had given the interview to push for the White House's coronavirus relief proposal.

“To your point, in West Virginia, 1 in 7 families is describing their household as being hungry, 1 in 6 can’t pay their rent, and 1 in 4 small businesses are closing permanently or have already closed, so it’s a big issue in West Virginia and across the country,” Harris told WSAZ. “That’s why the president and I are offering the American Rescue Plan.”

A request for further comment from Manchin's office was not immediately returned. The White House also did not immediately return an email regarding the senator's comments.

Manchin is seen as one of the most important votes in the divided Senate going into President Biden's first 100 days in office. The West Virginia senator has expressed some reluctance about some of the provisions in the White House's COVID-19 relief plan, seen as Biden's first legislative push, including the $1,400 direct payments to Americans in the bill. He previously supported a bill in December that provided $600 payments to Americans making less than $75,000 per year.

Some Republican senators issued their own call Sunday for a bipartisan compromise bill that Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyGraham's COVID-19 'breakthrough' case jolts Senate Senators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Optimism grows that infrastructure deal will get to Biden's desk MORE (R-La.) indicated would likely total less than half of what Democrats have asked for.