Billionaire Republican donor and Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone is so impressed with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s political stands that he has promised to hold a fundraiser for him if he runs again in 2024.
Manchin has sabotaged several ruinously expensive social spending initiatives by Joe Biden, including parental leave and Medicare expansion. Langone is impressed with Manchin’s political courage.
"I don't see leadership any place in this country. Thank god for Joe Manchin. The guy gots guts and courage … I'm going to have one of the biggest fundraisers I've ever had for him. He's special," says Ken Langone on @Sen_JoeManchin. pic.twitter.com/HUkZHdI41a
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) November 10, 2021
Langone said Manchin has “guts and courage.”
“I’ll tell you right now, I’m going to have one of the biggest fundraisers — he’s a Democrat, I’m a Republican — I’m going to have one of the biggest fundraisers I’ve ever had for him,” Langone said. “He’s special. He’s precious. He’s a great American.”
According to records from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Langone has not previously contributed to one of Manchin’s campaigns, although he has contributed to some other Democrats in the past.
Langone supported Donald Trump until he felt “betrayed” by Trump following the Jan. 6 riot.
“Last Wednesday was a disgrace and should never have happened in this country, and if it doesn’t break every American’s heart, something is wrong,” Langone said on Squawk Box the week after the riot. “It breaks my heart, for sure. I didn’t sign up for that.”
If Trump broke his heart, he shouldn’t come running looking to cry on any shoulders when Manchin gives his vote to pass Biden’s Build Back Better bill. Both Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema have been in intense negotiations with the White House over how they can get to “yes” on the bill, and the latest bits of intelligence say that Sinema is nearly on board while Manchin still has a few objections about expanding some benefits.
But make no mistake. If the BBB goes down to defeat, it will be Senate and House progressives who sink it — not Manchin or Sinema.
Bowman said the commitment by Rep. Josh Gottheimer(D-N.J.) and four other moderates to support the reconciliation bill once the Congressional Budget Office scores the Build Back Better legislation was a “good sign, but it’s not a legal document.”
“What if the CBO score is not to their liking?” he said. “What if the lobbying efforts that have been taking place over the last several months continue and someone decides they no longer want to support the BBB at the current level — if at all?”
Manchin may not even run in 2024 given the circumstances. And how likely is it that Langone will shell out millions of dollars for a senator who caved to political pressure and voted with Bernie Sanders to “transform” the federal government?
Manchin is clearly relishing his role as a power broker and will continue to entertain pleas from Republicans to cross the aisle and switch parties.
The only way that will happen is if the Democrats kick him out of their party. With control of the Senate hanging by a single thread, Democrats aren’t likely to shoot themselves in the head.
Manchin will remain a Democrat and barring a miracle, he will end up voting for some version of the Build Back Better bill, giving Joe Biden a game-changing legislative victory.
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