Despite pressure to join the Republican Party, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., hasn’t left the Democrats yet — but in a surprising move, he did switch his support to a Republican lawmaker in his state in an upcoming election rather than recruiting a Democratic Party candidate.
The move puts Manchin’s popularity in West Virginia against former President Donald Trump.
Sponsored: This trick reveals lung cancer
Republican Rep. David McKinley of West Virginia has turned to Manchin to back him in a campaign ad in his GOP primary against Trump’s endorsed pick, Rep. Alex Mooney.
In a McKinley campaign ad, Manchin says the congressman has always opposed “reckless spending because it doesn’t make sense for West Virginia.” The ad comes as McKinley argues that Mooney is misleading voters about McKinley’s vote for President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law. Mooney voted against it.
“Alex Mooney has proven he’s all about Alex Mooney, but West Virginians know David McKinley is all about us,” Manchin says in the ad.
Mooney has pointed to the Manchin support to repeat his claim that McKinley is a RINO, which stands for “Republican in Name Only.”
The two incumbent Republicans were pitted against each other after population losses cost West Virginia a U.S. House seat.
McKinley also has the endorsement of Republican Gov. Jim Justice, who called McKinley’s infrastructure vote “brave.”
Trump, meanwhile, endorsed Mooney on the day Biden signed the infrastructure bill into law.
9 drugs linked to Alzheimer’s disease? [Sponsored]
In one ad, Mooney’s attacks McKinley for “backing Biden for a trillion-dollar spending spree,” but mentions infrastructure only in printed text.
In McKinley’s ad, Manchin says messaging from Mooney and his supporters suggests that McKinley also supported Biden’s vast social and environment bill, called “Build Back Better.” McKinley and Mooney both voted against the plan. Manchin has opposed it as well.
Joe Manchin could run for president … as a Republican?!
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article