Even though he has finally agreed to support a portion of President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda dealing with green energy, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) managed to leave many Democrats wondering where his loyalties lie after an interview he gave to NBC News host Chuck Todd during an appearance on “Meet the Press” Sunday.
Todd asked the senator:
“Do you hope Democrats keep control of the House and Senate?”
Manchin — who some have branded a Democrat in name only — replied:
“I think people are sick and tired of politics, Chuck. I really do. I think they’re sick and tired of Democrats and Republicans fighting and feuding and holding pieces of legislation hostage because they didn’t get what they wanted, or something or someone might get credit for something. Why don’t we start doing something for our country? Why don’t we just say, ‘This is good for America?’ I’ve always said the best politics is good government. Do something good, Chuck. But I’m not going to predict what’s going to happen.”
That led the host to clarify that he wasn’t asking for a prediction:
“I’m not asking you to predict. What result do you want? Do you want the Democrats to keep control of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives?”
The senator responded:
“You know, I’m not making those choices or decisions on that. I’m going to work with whatever I have. I’ve always said that. I think the Democrats have great candidates that are running. They’re good people I’ve worked with. And I have a tremendous amount of respect and friendship with my Republican colleagues. So I can work on either side very easily.”
Todd tried one final time to get a straight answer:
“You don’t care about the outcome this year of the election?”
“Whatever the voters choose. I can’t decide what’s going to happen in Kansas or California or Texas. I really can’t. I’ve always taken the approach whoever you send me, that’s your representative and I respect them. And I respect the state for the people they send, and I give it my best to work with them, to do the best for my country. I don’t play the politics that way. I don’t like it that way. That’s not who I am.”
WATCH: @chucktodd: “Do you want the Democrats to keep control” of Congress in November?”@Sen_JoeManchin: “Whatever the voters choose … I’ve always taken the approach, whomever you send me, that’s your representative and I respect them. … I don’t play the politics that way.” pic.twitter.com/ts6KvK4Cef
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) July 31, 2022
The West Virginia Democrat did the same thing when asked about if he was supporting Biden in 2024 by ABC News host Jonathan Karl:
“You seem to suggest this week that you might not support Joe Biden, Karl noted. If he’s the Democratic nominee for 2024. What’s the bottom line? If Biden is nominated by your party, will you support him? Will you vote for a Republican?”
Manchin told Karl:
“Everybody is worried about elections. That’s the problem. It’s the 2022 election, the 2024 election. I’m not getting involved. I’m not getting involved in that, Jon.
“Whoever is my president, that’s my president. And Joe Biden is my president right now.”
NEW: Asked if he would commit to supporting Pres. Biden in 2024, Sen. Joe Manchin tells @jonkarl that he’s “not getting involved” in elections.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 31, 2022
Clearly, the question both Chuck Todd and Jonathan Karl should have asked Sen. Manchin is this one: Are you sure you’re actually a Democrat?
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