SPONSORED:

Manchin to oppose Biden's pick of Neera Tanden

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Manchin is right on the filibuster, but wrong on the PRO Act Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (D-W.Va.) said Friday that he would oppose Neera TandenNeera TandenBiden's no-drama White House chief Manchin isn't ready to support Democrats passing infrastructure on their own Republicans target Trump critic's role at DOJ MORE's nomination to head the White House budget office, potentially sinking her Senate confirmation.

Manchin cited Tanden's harsh tweets about Republicans as the reason for his opposition.

"I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget," Manchin said in a statement. "For this reason, I cannot support her nomination."

ADVERTISEMENT

Most Republicans were already expected to oppose Tanden over her rhetoric, and it may be difficult for a GOP senator to back her now that Biden will need at least one Republican to back her to get her confirmed. 

The Senate is divided 50-50 between the parties, with Vice President Harris breaking tie votes. But Democrats would only have 49 votes for Tanden if all Republican senators and Manchin oppose her.

Tanden, a former staffer to then-Sen. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Monica Lewinsky responds to viral HBO intern's mistake: 'It gets better' Virginia governor's race poses crucial test for GOP MORE (D-N.Y.), built a reputation for partisan warfare on Twitter as the head of the Center for American Progress.

Republicans in two confirmation hearings last week skewered Tanden for her previous tweets, many of which she recently deleted.

She has repeatedly apologized for the tweets, some of which compared Republicans to evil fictional characters. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"I regret that language and take responsibility for it," she said at one of the committee hearings, promising to take a different tone as budget chief.

In her tweets, Tanden compared Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-Ky.) to Voldemort, said that vampires had more heart than Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Ted Cruz says critical race theory is as racist as 'Klansmen in white sheets' Pentagon pulling 'certain forces and capabilities,' including air defenses, from Middle East MORE (R-Texas), called Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Biden struggles to detail post-withdrawal Afghanistan plans White House reiterates opposition to raising gas tax amid infrastructure debate MORE (R-Maine) "the worst," and referred to then-Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeOn The Trail: Arizona is microcosm of battle for the GOP Trump looms large over fractured Arizona GOP Why Republican politicians are sticking with Trump MORE (R-Arizona) as "criminally ignorant."

Tanden's defenders accused Republicans complaining about rhetoric on Twitter of hypocrisy, citing former President TrumpDonald TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care MORE's incendiary comments on the social networking site before his account was suspended.

Trump referred to various critics as "crazy," "corrupt," "little," and "low-IQ," among other rude nicknames and insults.

"Neera Tanden is an accomplished policy expert who would be an excellent Budget Director and we look forward to the committee votes next week and to continuing to work toward her confirmation through engagement with both parties," Biden press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Joe Rogan slams CNN's Stelter: 'Your show is f---ing terrible' MORE said in a statement distributed to reporters in response to Manchin's remarks.

ADVERTISEMENT

Republicans have noted that Tanden's targets were not limited to Republicans and that she also went after some progressives, particularly Clinton's 2016 presidential primary rival Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay MORE (I-Vt.).

Sanders, now chair of the Senate Budget Committee, chaired one of the confirmation hearings, and asked Tanden to reflect on comments he called "vicious."

Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) took it a step further, saying she'd called Sanders "everything but an ignorant slut," a reference to a 1970s "Saturday Night Live" sketch.

In a CNN interview Friday afternoon, Sanders was non-committal about supporting Tanden's nomination, saying that he would speak to her next week about "what she wants to do." Sanders reiterated that he was less concerned with her previous rhetoric than her future actions.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. Brett Samuels contributed.