Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia did not appreciate what Harry Reid had to say after Trump’s election victory upset. To quote the conservative Democrat correctly, he told Reid he was, “an absolute embarrassment to the Senate as an institution, our Democratic party, and the nation."
Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Reid is not loved by Republicans, but to have a member of your party (and caucus) call you out so harshly should give you pause.
After Trump won the Electoral College, Reid referred to Trump as a sexual predator.
It may not be so surprising Manchin is taking this tone, however. Trump won West Virginia by a resounding 42-point margin. A Democrat in a state turning bright red, Manchin has had to be very careful navigating the political waters. He is already perhaps the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, but his election in 2018 may make him pivot even further right in the coming months. There were rumors that he may begin caucusing with Senate Republicans, but Manchin made clear this week he would continue as a Democrat while in office.
It’s still very possible for conservative Democrats to win in West Virginia. Jim Justice handedly won his gubernatorial bid Tuesday night over Republican Bill Cole, but he had to convince voters he was leaving his choice for the presidency blank. The national Democratic brand is toxic in coal country.
Gearing up for 2018, Mancin may already be distancing himself from his national party. He went on to criticize Reid’s disgusting comments on Trump…
"I want to be very clear, he does not speak for me. As difficult as it is for anyone to lose an election, the American people have spoken and Donald Trump is our President-elect. Senator Reid’s words needlessly feed the very divisiveness that is tearing this country apart," Manchin said. "We are Americans first, not Democrats or Republicans first. Unfortunately, there are some who forget that at times like these it is wrong to put party and politics above our country.”