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Tipsheet

Joe Manchin Says He Is Not a 'Washington Democrat'

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia explained Sunday that he is "not a Washington Democrat" but a "West Virginia Democrat" who admires his GOP colleagues.

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During an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Manchin told host Jake Tapper that is crucial to work with West Virginia Republicans to "get a good outcome for our West Virginia citizens."

"I'm not a Washington Democrat, I'm a good old West Virginia Democrat, who likes all my West Virginia Republicans, and I know that I have to have their input for us to get good outcomes for our West Virginia citizens we represent," he said when discussing bipartisanship in Congress.

Manchin emphasized that he works for the people of West Virginia and said that Washington lawmakers should never forget where they came from and who sent them to serve in the nation's capital.

"We have a lot of friends who are stereotype Washington Republicans," Manchin said. "Okay, there were Alaska Republicans and there's all different Republicans who represent a state. Never forget where you came from. Never forget who you work for. Never forget your purpose of being here."

"And I've always said this, I want to make sure I take care of my country," he continued. "I'm an American before I'm anything, I'm an American first. And I'm so proud of my country and the opportunities I've had. I also am here to do a job for the people of West Virginia. So they're my employers."

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The West Virginia Democrat also endorsed Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (AK) during the interview, saying that Alaska "could only be so lucky to have her continue to serve them."

Manchin has met the ire of the Democratic Party over the last year for his refusal to back a number of legislative initiatives, including the Build Back Better Act and a filibuster carve out to pass election overhaul legislation.

The senator bucking party lines on Democratic priorities has led some progressives in the party to suggest that they would support a primary challenger to Manchin in 2024 should he seek reelection.

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