During his interview on CNN, Manchin said that it is crucial to work with West Virginia GOP members to “get a good outcome for the people of West Virginia.”
“I am not a Washington Dem, I’m a good old West Virginia Democrat, who likes West Virginia Republicans, and I understand I have to get their input for us to have good outcomes for our West Virginians that we represent,” he said when talking about bipartisanship in Washington.
Manchin stressed that he works for West Virginia citizens and said that federal lawmakers should never forget where they came from and who voted for them.
“We have many friends who are the stereotype federal Republicans,” Manchin said. “Okay, there were Alaskan Republicans and there are all different kinds Republicans. Never forget where you came from and who you work for. Never forget your real purpose.”
“And I have always said this, I wish to ensure I take care of my nation,” he said. “I am an American before I am anything, I am America first. And I’m so proud of my nation and the opportunities I have had. I also am here to do the job for the people of West Virginia. So they are my employers.”
The West Virginia Dem also endorsed Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) during the interview, stating that Alaska “could only be so lucky to have her keep serving.”
Manchin has met the ire of the DNC over the past year for his refusal to support a number of legislative initiatives, including the BBB Act and a filibuster carve out to push through election overhaul rules.
The senator bucking party lines on Dem priorities has caused some progressives to suggest that they would back a primary challenger to Manchin in 2024 should he go for reelection.