Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin set off a firestorm on the left Monday in a Fox News interview when he pledged to be a key vote in stopping any power grabs by his own party. The remarks triggered some Democrats to call for “abolishing the Senate.”
Manchin made the remarks after being asked about New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer’s calls to “change America” if the Dems win the two runoff Senate races in Georgia.
Manchin’s response to the question left little doubt where he stands. “Well, there’s a lot of people that are concerned. There’s a lot of fear tactics that are being used right now,” Manchin said. “If both of the Georgia senators were elected from the Democratic Party, then that would be 50/50, if both Dan Sullivan and Thom Tillis win; 50/50 means there’s a tie. But if one senator does not vote on the Democratic side, there is no tie and there is no bill.
“So, I commit to you tonight and I commit to all of your viewers and everyone else that’s watching, I want to allay those fears, I want to rest those fears for you right now, because, when they talk about whether it be packing the courts or ending the filibuster, I will not vote to do that,” Manchin continued. “I will not vote to pack the courts. I think – and I will not vote to end the filibuster.”
Manchin also signaled that he would not support Medicare for All. “And when they talk about basically Medicare for All, we can’t even pay for ‘Medicare for Some.’ It doesn’t make any sense at all. We have got to fix the Affordable Care Act we have. And I think our Republican – moderate Republicans will work with us to now repair what needs to be repaired,” he said.
The West Virginia Democrat reiterated his opposition to some of the left’s most radical ideas, saying that the “Green New Deal” and “all this socialism” was “not who we are as a Democratic Party.” Manchin continued, “We’ve been tagged [that] if you’ve got a D by your name, you must be for all the crazy stuff, and I’m not.”
Sounds like Mitch McConnell and Republicans may have a new friend, or at least a workable colleague, on the other side of the aisle in the Senate.