Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who has refused to publicly commit to backing President Biden for re-election, on Sunday dodged even saying if he wants Dems to retain control of Congress in the midterm elections.
The West Virginia pol was asked on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” “Do you want the Democrats to keep control of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives?”
He replied, “I’m not making those choices or decisions on that.
“I’m going to work with whatever I have,” Manchin told host Chuck Todd. ”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.”
The senator added that he can’t control the desire of voters.
“Whatever the voters choose. I can’t decide what’s going to happen in Kansas or California or Texas,” Manchin said. “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 politics that way. I don’t like it that way. That’s not who I am.”
The renegade pol, who announced a surprising deal on a $739 billion spending package with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Wednesday, said he has no idea who may win their elections, anyway.
Manchin said that in these political “toxic times,” control of the House and Senate is “up in the air right now.”
“People are sick and tired of politics,” the senator said.
“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,” the moderate Dem said, advocating for an end to the political posturing.
”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. … But I’m not going to predict what’s going to happen,” Manchin continued.
Manchin, asked last week about supporting a Biden second term, had skirted that question, too.
“I don’t know who is going to be running. If Joe Biden runs again, and he is the Democratic nominee, depending on who the Republican nominee is, we will just have to wait and see,” Manchin told host Chris Cuomo in an interview that aired on NewsNation.
“I am not predicting anything or how I would support or not support or get involved or not,” he said. “But I can tell you this, whoever the elected president is — Democrat, Republican, independent — every one of us should pray they succeed. I am going to do everything I can to make that person successful.”