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Tipsheet

Manchin's Opponent Claims His Kavanaugh Vote Is a 'Craven Political Calculation'

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has told the press that he is willing to wait to make up his mind on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court credentials until's he's seen the new FBI report. He seems to have an open mind and he's told the press he's not interested in assassinating the man's character like his colleagues.

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"I'm looking at the gentleman as an adult from 22 to 53. Thirty-one years of official service," the senator told press this week. "I'm looking at him as a father, as a person in the community...I mean I'm just looking at the human side of it also I think every aspect has to be looked at."

He also said he's not worried about political pushback.

“I am who I am, and people know who I am,” Manchin said. “We’ll just see what happens. I’m not doing anything until I see the report. Nothing until I see the report. Not even talk. I am totally undecided.”

Yet, this new report from Politico rubbed Manchin's conservative critics the wrong way.

Manchin, for his part, sounds like he’s leaning “Yes,” and it certainly is gettable for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the GOP leadership. It’s clear Manchin doesn’t want to be the 50th vote for Kavanaugh, but it seems like he’d be OK with being the 51st or 52nd, barring any new developments.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey, Manchin's conservative challenger in the midterms, said the report proves the Kavanaugh confirmation vote is "nothing more than a craven political calculation for Joe Manchin." He is not keeping an open mind on Kavanaugh out of the goodness of his heart, but because he so badly wants to win re-election, he asserts.

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"The Kavanaugh confirmation process revealed Manchin to be nothing more than a dishonest Washington liberal who gave the resist and obstruct circus room to attempt to destroy President Trump's Supreme Court nominee," Morrisey for Senate spokesperson Nathan Brand said Thursday in a statement. "West Virginians see Joe Manchin for the gutless, calculating politician he is and will see his vote as a craven political calculation in an effort to save his re-election."

Is that a fair assessment?

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