Manchin crosses party lines in officially endorsing Murkowski
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) crossed party lines on Sunday and officially endorsed Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in her reelection race.
“I’m endorsing my dear friend Lisa Murkowski,” Manchin said alongside the Alaska senator during a joint-interview with CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“Alaska could only be so lucky to have her continue to serve them,” he added.
The announcement came after co-anchor Jake Tapper noted that Manchin supported Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) when she was running for reelection in 2020.
Manchin said it is “hypocritical” that lawmakers “work with a person day in and day out, and then, when they’re in cycle, you’re supposed to be against them because they have an R or a D by their name.”
“If these are good people I have worked with, we have accomplished a lot, why in the world wouldn’t I want to work with them and continue to work with them? It doesn’t matter whether I’m a Democrat and they’re Republican, or vice versa. They have been my dear friends, and we get a lot accomplished. And we — I think the country has fared better with us working together than not,” he added.
Manchin in April said he would throw his support behind Murkowski should she run for reelection in 2022. Sunday’s announcement, however, made the endorsement official.
Murkowski welcomed the support, thanking her colleague for the endorsement before reflecting on a time when lawmakers supported one another despite their political party.
She specifically pointed to the friendship between former Sens. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who would campaign for one another.
Former Alaska Commissioner of Administration Kelly Tshibaka (R) is waging a bid against Murkowski in the GOP primary. Former President Trump threw support behind Tshibaka in June, making good on his pledge to unseat Murkowski after she criticized him following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and voted in favor of conviction during his second impeachment trial on a charge of inciting an insurrection.
Tshibaka raised $601,000 in the final three months of 2021, while Murkowski raked in twice as much, giving the incumbent $4.25 million in the bank.
If Murkowski wins reelection she will enter her fourth full term in office.
Later in the interview on Sunday, Murkowski said she will endorse Manchin if he decides to run for reelection in 2024.
Some in the Democratic Party, however, are not sure they can support Manchin should he run for another term in the upper chamber.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) last month said he believes there is a “good chance” Manchin will face a primary challenge after he blocked President Biden’s social spending and climate package and helped tanked the party’s chances of passing voting reform by not supporting a change in the filibuster.
He could not get on board with the spending package after months of negotiations, and refused to change the legislative filibuster to allow Democrats to pass voting rights reform in a simple majority vote.
Manchin, however, defended his stance last month, telling progressives threatening to primary him to “bring it on.”
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