News & Politics

'I Have a Lot of Concerns': Manchin Laments Far Left's Agenda

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

With his party pushing hard left even after taking a historic election shellacking, one of the most powerful players in Washington joined Fox News Wednesday evening.

Joe Manchin, the moderate U.S. senator from West Virginia, spoke to “Special Report” anchor Bret Baier from Capitol Hill to analyze the Democrats’ tenuous state.

In recent weeks, Manchin has again emerged as a key figure in the profligate spending bill debate, taking absurd criticism from the socialist wing and having President Joe Biden speak on his behalf from Scotland.

While the president may be in denial about Tuesday’s debacle, Manchin was adamant that there’s “no excuse” why the bipartisan infrastructure legislation “hasn’t passed long ago.”

As for the larger social welfare bill, he again advised progressives and the Biden administration to “slow down and take a breath” with a “strategic pause” due to our debt, inflation, and changes to energy policies.

“There is no such thing as linking two pieces of legislation or holding one hostage over the other,” Manchin argued. “I don’t know why we are acting like it’s so urgent.”

Discussing skyrocketing gas prices, Manchin says he has a “difference of opinion” with Biden on energy production, reminding viewers that America is energy independent and that “West Virginia has an ocean of natural gas under it, if they’d just let us build a pipeline we could get the product to market.”

Baier and the senator also discussed the important Tuesday letter from five congressional moderates, paid leave, and immigration.

“For us to even be talking about immigration without border security is ludicrous,” Manchin claimed.

Asked about controversial Democrat Rep. Cori Bush’s recent racial blast at him, he replied straightforwardly: “She doesn’t know me, and I’m happy to talk to her. I think maybe she’ll have a different opinion. Go home to West Virginia and ask people. I think you’ll get a different opinion.”

The 12-minute interview concluded with a brief discourse on how the 95 congressional progressives can push their radicalism forward since “they don’t have any chance of getting defeated where they come from” in their insular districts.

“I’m a West Virginia Democrat,” Manchin explained. “I am fiscally responsible and socially compassionate.”

Appearing on a panel a few minutes later, former Democrat Rep. Harold Ford commended Manchin and reminded his party, “You have to respond to voters’ concerns. You can’t place the priorities of your party over that of the people you represent and who voted for you.”

Related: Unhinged Cori Bush Calls Joe Manchin Racist