West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin broke with his party's leader in the Senate by refusing to attack a pair of wealthy billionaire brothers who donate to free-market causes. Asked about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's frequent attacks on Charles and David Koch, Manchin told Brian Kilmeade of Fox News Thursday morning that there's nothing wrong with what the brothers are doing.
"You don’t beat up people," Manchin said. "I mean, I don’t agree with their politics or philosophically, but, you know, they’re Americans,paying their taxes. They’re not breaking the law. They’re providing jobs."
Historically, potent third parties or outside political movements have had one of two origins. On the one hand, they were driven by powerful personalities who did not fit cleanly within either of the major parties: Theodore Roosevelt (1912), George Wallace (1968), and H. Ross Perot (1992, 1996) are the three primary examples.
By now it's an understatement to say—as Senate Democrats said to President Obama yesterday—that Democrats face a national "crisis of confidence" in the Affordable Care Act. And their confidence likely wasn't buttressed by the closing weeks of the Virginia gubernatorial campaign, in which the botched Obamacare rollout whittled Democrat Terry McAuliffe's once-substantial lead down to a surprisingly close margin.
Democratic senator Joe Manchin calls the IRS's activities "unacceptable and un-American."
"“The actions of the IRS are unacceptable and un-American. Government agencies using their bureaucratic muscle to target Americans for their political beliefs cannot be tolerated. The President must immediately condemn this attack on our values, find those individuals in his Administration who are responsible and fire them," says the West Virginia Democratic senator.
Democratic senator Joe Manchin said he'd "absolutely" bring the gun control measures that failed in the Senate back for another vote:
"This not only protects your Second Amendment rights, it expands your Second Amendment rights," Manchin said, talking up the failed legislation. He said he believes it can pass if people "read the bill."
New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte announces this morning that she will not support the Manchin-Toomey gun bill, which is supposed to be voted on today in the Senate. Instead, Ayotte says, she is supporting "the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act."
Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Joe Manchin announced a gun bill compromise to expand background checks earlier today. The legislation is in direct response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.
Democratic senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia refused to answer a question about his position on repealing part or all of Obamacare this afternoon outside the Senate chamber. Asked by THE WEEKLY STANDARD if he supported repealing any part of the 2010 health care law, Manchin then stepped into an elevator with retiring Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who laughed as the elevator doors closed.
Alex Pappas reports that West Virginia Democrats continue to distance themselves from President Barack Obama:
In a move showing how politically toxic President Barack Obama has become in parts of the country, three prominent West Virginia Democrats announced Monday they will not attend the Democratic National Convention in September.
Acting governor Earl Ray Tomblin has won Tuesday's special election for governor in West Virginia, according to the Associated Press. Tomblin, the Democratic state senate president since 1995, defeated Republican businessman and first-time candidate Bill Maloney.