“I’m not asking you to predict,” Todd interrupted. “What result do you want? Do you want the Democrats to keep control of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives?”’
Manchin started to say he’d love for that to happen, but he couldn’t quite get there. Instead, he opted to dodge the question altogether and give his version of former President Donald Trump’s “very fine people on both sides” speech.
”Oh I’d love … [stuttering] I’m not making those choices or decisions on that,” Manchin said. “I’m going to work with whatever I have. I’ve always said that. I think the Democrats have great candidates that are running. They’re good people I’ve worked with, and I have a tremendous amount of respect and friendship with my Republican colleagues.”
Manchin was hesitant to cast President Joe Biden as one of those “great candidates.” Manchin said on CNN’s State of the Union he is not “getting involved in any election right now.”
“President Biden is my president right now,” Manchin said. “I’m going to work with him and his administration to the best of my ability to help the people in my state of West Virginia and this country.”
He went on to say that his focus is on getting inflation rates down. “We have got to have an energy policy that works for America,” Manchin said, “and we’re not going to raise taxes, but people should be paying their fair share, especially the largest corporations in America that have a billion dollars of value or greater. Can’t they pay at least 15% so that we can move forward and be the leader of the world and the superpower that we are?”
Manchin’s remarks follow his support of what Daily Kos’ emeritus writer Meteor Blades called “the first significant federal legislation on climate in three decades.”
Manchin also told CNN he didn’t bring Sen. Kyrsten Sinema into negotiations with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer because he didn’t think a deal would happen. “The reason people weren’t brought into this, I didn’t think it would come to fruition,” the legislator from West Virginia told CNN. “I didn’t want to disappoint people.”
The bill Manchin is backing would slash Democrats’ $3 trillion Build Back Better plan to a $369 billion investment in climate programs over a 10-year period, more than $300 billion to cut the deficit, and $64 billion to expand subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.
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