Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Thursday morning defended the Koch brothers, the wealthy conservative donors who have been repeatedly bashed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on the Senate floor.
“People want jobs. You don’t beat up people. I mean, I don’t agree with their politics or philosophically, but, you know, they’re Americans, they’re doing — paying their taxes,” Manchin said on “Fox and Friends” when host Brian Kilmeade asked if Reid’s speeches criticizing the Koch brothers “helps or hurts the cause for the country and for Congress.”
“They’re not breaking the law. They’re providing jobs,” Manchin continued.
The senator said that criticizing the Koch brothers is not going to help Democrats with voters.
“If you’re trying to rally the base, the bases have already been rallied. The right and left bases have been rallied,” Manchin said. “It’s us in the middle that have to start making something happen here in Washington to move this country forward.”
Manchin argued that members of Congress need to stop focusing on politics, and start focusing on compromise.
“Right, wrong or indifferent, whether you like their politics or not, there’s people who don’t like the extreme Democrat politics or the extreme Republican politics. We have to start being Americans again,” he said. “This type of rhetoric does not help us move this country or move the agenda forward.”
A spokesman for Koch Industries, Steve Lombardo, told Politico that it was “about time” someone stood up for Charles and David Koch.
“My guess is that Sen. Manchin has expressed a point of view that a lot other senators — Democrats, Republicans — have probably wanted to say and haven’t,” Lombardo said.
Watch the clip from “Fox and Friends” via the Washington Free Beacon: