The PJ Tatler

Manchin: Holder at the Point Where 'Decisions Have to be Made' About Staying

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said carefully in an interview aired this weekend on Bloomberg that Attorney General Eric Holder should re-evaluate his intention to stay in the Obama administration despite recent scandals.

“Let me just say that – that any public official – no matter whether it be the attorney general or anybody in public office – whenever you feel that you have lost your effectiveness or may be losing your effectiveness to the detriment of the job that you do, even though you’re a good, honest, sincere, hardworking person, you have to evaluate that and make a decision. And I think we’re at the time now where decisions have to be made,” Manchin said.

“I just think that basically, in light of what is going on in the country, and everybody looking at it, it must be the – might be the most well intended person with the best of intentions, but if they’re not being effective and they’re not being received, how effective is it and how good is it for the country?”

The West Virginia Dem wouldn’t pass an opinion on President Obama’s pick of UN Ambassador Susan Rice as his national security adviser.

“The bottom line is, I’m not going to – being an executive myself at one time, being the governor of the state of West Virginia, I had to put my staff together. And I give as much leeway as possible for a person to put their staff together. And I think the president has that right and responsibility to do that. And it’s not even subject to confirmation from us, which tells you that basically it’s up to him, his decision, and he’ll be judged on that,” Manchin said.

“He’s elected to be the president of the United States. He’s our president, whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, whether you’re a liberal or you’re a conservative. He is our president. And you want always your president to do well. Historically, Americans want their government to succeed. We have lost trust of government, I mean, of the people as government, and we’ve got to gain that trust back. So he’s going to be judged on the appointment and how well she performs.”

Of the snooping by the NSA, Manchin said “it bothers me, and I think it bothers you and every other American — something inherent in us.”

“It should be stopped as far as the broad-base that they’re doing. If there’s a profile and targeting that goes on, then fine. I’m wanting to do everything I can to fight the war on terror. There will not be another day in my life, my children or grandchildren’s life they won’t have to be vigilant against terrorists wanting to do us harm. But do you give up everything as an American?” he said.

“In the light of what’s coming out every day that you see something different coming out, somebody better be looking at, what are my liberties? What are my rights? What are my freedoms? What did my founding fathers intend for me to have as an American, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? I mean, there’s a lot to be said there.”

Manchin also said he doesn’t believe gun-control legislation is dead this year and he’s “talking to senators every day” about its revival.

“I’m in a 50-50 to where I think, can we pick up five more members? I think we can.”