The Senate’s most moderate Democrat says he’s not backing his colleague Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) because “the Treasury Department would not have enough paper to print all the money that would be needed to pay for the programs” proposed by the self-proclaimed socialist.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who is running for reelection this year, is backing Hillary Clinton “because I have a comfort level.”
“I can sit down, I can work with her. We don’t always agree, but the bottom line is that she’s very pragmatic, she wants to find solutions and she’s easy to work with. I trust her. I can work with her. I feel good about that,” Manchin told Fox today.
“Bernie’s a good man, Bernie’s very good man,” he acknowledged, while stressing “the bottom line is, you know, I’m a centrist.”
“I’m about as middle of the road as you can get. I’m fiscally responsible and socially compassionate, which I think is most of America. But this is being driven from the left and the right, the extremes,” Manchin continued. “Somebody’s got to come to the middle and make decisions on what’s good for the country, whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican or independent or a Libertarian. You just got to work for America.”
The senator said Bernie concerns him because he “will not come back” toward the middle.
“Bernie is where Bernie is, and Bernie’s very honest with you. He’ll tell you exactly where he stands, and I don’t think Bernie can come back any further,” Manchin said. “Bernie is the left and he’ll stay far left. Hillary is able to work the middle and work it well and bring all people together, and I really believe that.”
Clinton has most of the Senate Dem delegation in her corner, while Sanders doesn’t have any upper chamber endorsements. In the House, Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairmen Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) are backing Bernie.