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‘Bull*hit!’: Manchin Denies Rumor He’s Leaving Democratic Party

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin has denied rumors he’s thinking of leaving the Democratic party, telling CNN’s Manu Raju that it’s “bullshit.”

“I can’t control rumors and it’s bullshit, bullshit spelled with a B, U, L, L, capital ‘B,’” Manchin told reporters while walking outside of the U.S. Capitol building.

WATCH:

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Earlier on Wednesday, a report from Mother Jones alleged that Manchin is considering leaving the Democratic party and has an exit plan to do so.

But Mother Jones and Corn do not believe that it is BS. In the piece Corn said that if Sen. Manchin does not get his way on the Build Back Better plan he could pull the trigger on leaving the party.

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“In recent days, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has told associates that he is considering leaving the Democratic Party if President Joe Biden and Democrats on Capitol Hill do not agree to his demand to cut the size of the social infrastructure bill from $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion, according to people who have heard Manchin discuss this. Manchin has said that if this were to happen, he would declare himself an ‘American Independent.’ And he has devised a detailed exit strategy for his departure,” the writer said.

“Manchin has been in the center of a wild rush of negotiations with his fellow Democrats and the White House over a possible compromise regarding Biden’s ambitious Build Back Better package, and Manchin’s opposition to key provisions—including Medicare and Medicaid expansion, an expanded child tax credit, and measures to address climate change—has been an obstacle that the Democrats have yet to overcome. As these talks have proceeded, Manchin has discussed bolting from the Democratic Party—perhaps to place pressure on Biden and Democrats in these negotiations,” he said.

“He told associates that he has a two-step plan for exiting the party. First, he would send a letter to Sen. Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, removing himself from the Democratic leadership of the Senate. (He is vice-chair of the Senate Democrats’ policy and communications committee.) Manchin hopes that would send a signal. He would then wait and see if that move had any impact on the negotiations. After about a week, he said, he would change his voter registration from Democrat to independent,” he said.

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If Manchin did leave the party it would have a reverberating effect on Democrats. They would lose the majority in the Senate and would make Senate Minority Leader and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell the majority leader and would damage Vice President Kamala Harris’ power as the tie-breaker vote unless a tie somehow emerged.

Manchin has been a thorn in the Democrats side and he and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders traded swipes last week over the size of the reconciliation bill.

Sanders, 80, penned an op-ed in a West Virginia newspaper, presumably to apply pressure to Manchin to get Joe Biden’s two spending bills passed and the West Virginia Senator is furious, The Daily Mail reported.

On Friday Sanders went after Manchin by appealing to the state’s voters with his piece in the state’s biggest newspaper, the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

“The $3.5 trillion Build Back Better bill, supported by President Biden and almost all Democrats in Congress, is an unprecedented effort to finally address the long-neglected crises facing working families and demand that the wealthiest people and largest corporations in the country start paying their fair share of taxes,” Sanders said in the piece.

He talked about how he believes the bills would help the people of West Virginia with lower prices for prescription drugs, expanding Medicare, and improving childcare.

“The United States, and states like West Virginia and Vermont in particular, are seeing their populations age,” the senator said.

“This bill greatly expands home health care and makes sure that these jobs are adequately paid,” he said.

“This is a pivotal moment in modern American history. We now have a historic opportunity to support the working families of West Virginia, Vermont, and the entire country and create a policy which works for all, not just a few,” he said.

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But Sen. Manchin was not about to be intimidated by Sanders and issued a takedown of him on his Twitter.

“This isn’t the first time an out-of-stater has tried to tell West Virginians what is best for them despite having no relationship to our state,” the 74-year-old senator said.

“Senator Sanders’ answer is to throw more money on the already overheated economy while 52 other Senators have grave concerns about this approach. To be clear, again, Congress should proceed with caution on any additional spending and I will not vote for a reckless expansion of government programs. No op-ed from a self-declared Independent socialist is going to change that,” he said.

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