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Sen. Manchin Was ‘Kidding’ About Switching Parties


Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he was kidding about switching political parties.

In their book, “This Will Not Pass,” New York Times reporters Alex Burns and Jonathan Martin describe a dinner between Thune, Sens. Susan Collins and Rob Portman and Manchin in early 2021, where Thune pitched Manchin on leaving the Democratic Party.

“They are always kidding back and forth. They would love for me — I said, ‘Guys listen, I am who I am, I’m a West Virginia Democrat,’” Manchin said when asked if he had told Sen John Thune that he would switch parties if the South Dakota Republican was GOP leader.

“I get that question every day. These are all my friends … John Thune is a most decent human being and a good friend of mine. But no,” Manchin said when asked if he had told Thune that.

“If people want to read into whatever conversations we have, they can read into it. But they all know who I am,” Manchin said.

The key passage in the book said:

“Thune suggested Manchin would likely be rewarded for taking such a step: You could write your own ticket, the South Dakotan told him. Chair a committee, we’ll help you raise money for your campaign.

“Manchin heard them out and gave Thune a politically deft response.

“John, he said, if you were the leader I would do it.”

Manchin last year stood in the way of President Joe Biden’s agenda, attracting the support of Republicans and a rich cohort: billionaires who gave money to Donald Trump’s presidential campaigns.

Most recently, Manchin has blamed the Biden administration and the Federal Reserve for inflation soaring over the past year at its fastest rate in more than 40 years.

“When will this end? It is a disservice to the American people to act as if inflation is a new phenomenon,” Manchin wrote in a statement released by his office. “The Federal Reserve and the administration failed to act fast enough, and today’s data is a snapshot in time of the consequences being felt across the country.”

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