Democratic Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia created quite a stir among his Democratic colleagues this weekend. On Friday, there was a campaign ad released for Rep. David McKinley, and Manchin appeared in it. McKinley is a Republican and in the ad, Manchin boasted about his fight against Biden’s Build Back Better plan.
Rep. McKinley is facing a race against Trump-endorsed challenger and fellow GOP Rep. Alex Mooney (W.Va.). Both men are clamoring for the state’s 2nd Congressional District seat now that statewide maps have been redrawn.
“I’ve always said if I can’t go home and explain it, I can’t vote for it. And that’s why I opposed Build Back Better. For Alex Mooney and his out-of-state supporters to suggest David McKinley supported Build Back Better is an outright lie. David McKinley has always opposed reckless spending because it doesn’t make sense for West Virginia. Alex Mooney has proven he’s all about Alex Mooney. But West Virginians know David McKinley is all about us,” Manchin said in the ad.
When some of the press asked in Manchin was endorsing McKinley, his spokesperson, Sam Runyon said that the ad speaks for itself.
Rep. Mooney lashed out at the ad in a tweet saying it was further proof that Joe Manchin was a “complete and total RINO.” He posted another tweet saying that Manchin and McKinley both supported the president’s $1.2 trillion non-infrastructure bills. And he went further saying that both men supported the January 6th “witch hunt” investigation against former President Trump.
President Trump entered the fray of this primary this past November when he back Mooney after McKinley voted in favor of Biden’s infrastructure package. The former president talked about the fact that Mooney voted against the January 6th commission. He also noted that McKinley was one of the 35 House Republicans who voted in favor of the Capitol investigation.
Jordan Zakarin, a member of the press tweeted a copy of the ad with a comment that Manchin was “bragging” about sinking Biden’s Build Back Better plan. He also noted that with Manchin’s endorsement of a GOP candidate that the Democratic Party was “never going to get this guy on board for any part of their agenda.”
Sawyer Hackett, a communications strategist, said that the ad means that President Joe Biden should take executive action to go around the West Virginia senator. He believes that if Manchin actually bragged about killing the president’s agenda in an ad for the GOP, Biden has nothing to lose from “legislating by executive action.”
Manu Raju, a CNN congressional reporter, said that the ad might mean more than one representative saving their seat in the house. Raju noted that Mooney could challenge Manchin for his Senate seat in 2024.
Raju tweeted, “Manchin inserts himself into a GOP v. GOP House primary and cuts an ad for David McKinley who is facing Trump-backed Alex Mooney. Trump has gone after Rs like McKinley for backing infrastructure bill. Mooney is seen as a possible ‘24 challenger to Manchin.”
Manchin is also taking heat from his colleagues for what is in a forthcoming book by two New York Times reporters. They write that Manchin told Senate Republican John Thune from South Dakota that if he were in charge, he would switch party affiliation. When Manchin was asked about that, he chalked it up to kidding back and forth. But he said, “Guys listen, I am who I am, I’m a West Virginia Democrat.”
There’s no doubt that Manchin is in a hot seat with Democrats, but he is a hero to many Republicans.