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Joe Manchin Isn't Sure If He Supports Tax Hikes & Medicare Cuts to Pay for Obamacare

7:27 AM, Oct 30, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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"It was a good ad, wasn't it?," Manchin said with a smile. 

Manchin touted his A-grade on fiscal issues from the Cato Institute: "Who would have thought this little state would be a financial beacon for the whole country during a most difficult time?" (Unemployment is at 8.9%, about a point below the national average.) 

Manchin preached about West Virginia's values--"the God fearing family loving people that we are"--and shared fond memories of meeting the late Robert Byrd in the late 1950s, when Manchin was just 10 years old, at his grandfather's grocery store. "Papa loved to preach and talk about the Bible and cut meat," Manchin said of his grandfather. "I heard the Godawfullest racket in the butcher room and I couldn't figure out--these two men were going at it, preaching the Bible, arguing about how to cut a chicken up and it just went on and on. I go back there and my grandfather, Papa, said, 'Joe, I want you to meet Senator Robert Byrd.'"

It's enough to make a Democrat cringe (well, aside from the praise for Byrd). Of course, Manchin would probably like to revert to his Obamacare-supporting past once he gets into the Senate--no sure thing in a wave election year with Republican Raese a few points behind in the polls. Manchin made it clear that his heart is really with the Democratic party. "When times were tough and things were bad, and I've heard my grandfather talk about depressions, it was always the principles of the Democratic party that came to the rescue of the citizens of America," Manchin told supporters. 

If elected to the Senate, Manchin will probably vote with the Democratic leadership when he can get away with it--which probably won't be that often. The winner on November 2 will only serve out the remaining two years of Robert Byrd's last term.

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