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Manchin says he would endorse GOP Sen. Murkowski in reelection bid

Manchin says he would endorse GOP Sen. Murkowski in reelection bid
© Greg Nash

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinPelosi: 'No intention' of abandoning Democrats' infrastructure goals Ocasio-Cortez: 'Old way of politics' influences Manchin's thinking The Memo: Democratic tensions will only get worse as left loses patience MORE (D-W.Va.) said he would endorse GOP Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiPelosi: 'No intention' of abandoning Democrats' infrastructure goals What the Democrats should be doing to reach true bipartisanship Democrats mull overhaul of sweeping election bill MORE for reelection during a joint interview with the Alaska Republican on Politico Playbook’s "Deep Dive" podcast.

Manchin told the podcast said he would support Murkowski “in a heartbeat.” Murkowski said she would “welcome his endorsement.”

“I've met a lot of good people in Alaska, they know when they've got the real deal. And they see the person that basically is bringing both sides together, trying to look for the best interest,” Manchin said.

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“People understand they have a person that understands Alaska and has Alaska in her blood and in every part of her veins and every morsel of her body,” he continued.

Murkowski and Manchin are both pivotal votes in an evenly divided Senate, and both have been known to buck their party.

Manchin has frustrated some Democrats with his support for the legislative filibuster. He has not backed statehood for Washington, D.C., and he opposed including a $15 federal minimum wage in the coronavirus relief package approved earlier this year.

Murkowski opposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act during the Trump administration and voted to convict former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden prepares to confront Putin Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting Senate investigation of insurrection falls short MORE at his impeachment trial earlier this year.

The Alaskan has faced challenges from within her party and is likely to get a primary challenge next year.

In 2010, she won a general election race in Alaska as a write-in candidate after being defeated in the GOP primary.

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Trump has promised to travel to Alaska to campaign against Murkowski, telling The Hill that the senator “represents her state badly and her country even worse.”

“I do not know where other people will be next year, but I know where I will be — in Alaska campaigning against a disloyal and very bad Senator,” Trump said.

Alaska’s commissioner of administration, Kelly Tshibaka, launched a primary challenge to Murkowski in late March.

This isn’t the first time Manchin has backed a Republican for reelection.

Manchin backed Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPelosi: 'No intention' of abandoning Democrats' infrastructure goals Collins says infrastructure bill won't have gas tax increase or undo 2017 tax reform bill What the Democrats should be doing to reach true bipartisanship MORE (R-Maine) during her 2020 reelection bid, and even offered to campaign for her.