Conservative Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) let it be known Sunday that he wasn’t afraid of a Republican challenger’s attempts to tie him to the Washington, D.C. Democratic establishment.
Manchin was responding to a letter from Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia’s attorney general and a contender for the Republican nomination to challenge Manchin for his seat in 2018. Morrisey had called on Manchin to give up his place in the Senate’s Democratic leadership team, to which Manchin was appointed by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in November of last year.
“West Virginia could not be more different from Chuck Schumer’s New York,” Morrisey wrote. “And many in West Virginia wonder how you can put West Virginia first when you are beholden to Chuck Schumer and his team.”
“I don’t give a s–t, you understand? I just don’t give a shit,” Manchin told the Charleston Gazette-Mail, the paper reported Sunday. “Don’t care if I get elected, don’t care if I get defeated, how about that. If they think because I’m up for election, that I can be wrangled into voting for shit that I don’t like and can’t explain, they’re all crazy.”
“I’m not scared of an election, let’s put it that way,” Manchin continued. “Elections do not bother me or scare me. I’m going to continue to do the same thing I’ve always done, extremely independent.”
The Gazette-Mail had asked if Morrisey’s letter had influenced Manchin’s decision to become one of just three Democratic senators not to sign on to a letter outlining the party’s principles ahead of a Republican effort to pass a tax cut bill.
Morissey responded to the quote on his Twitter page:
If you don't care whether you win or lose, then maybe we need someone who will fight harder for us in the Senate. I will fight & win for WV.
— AG Patrick Morrisey (@MorriseyWV) August 7, 2017