Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) wasn’t impressed with the behavior of his Democratic colleagues on Tuesday night during President Trump’s State of the Union and he expressed his disappointment during Wednesday morning appearances on the network talk shows.
Manchin began his morning on “Fox & Friends” where host Brian Kilmeade noted “you stood up a lot during the speech and you were on the other side of the aisle.” The West Virginia lawmaker responded “that’s the way I was raised in West Virginia. We have respect. There is civility still yet. There should be civility in this place.”
He added, “I stood there and shook his hand and thanked [Trump] because he talked about coal, opioid addiction, infrastructure — I’ve never seen a pothole that belonged to a Democrat or a Republican. We both get blamed for that one.”
Later, the senator ventured over to CNN where he joined Alisyn Camerota he said “I’ve seen [disrespect] on both sides. I was there when Obama gave speeches…and I saw [Republicans] not standing–that was disrespectful…and then I saw last night, the disrespect…you respect the office.”
Manchin went on to repeat the same talking points from earlier in the morning, telling Camerota, “the president laid out some things that I can work with. He talked about opiates, I’ve got a serious opiate problem in [West Virginia] and we need the funding — I need to get that funding. He talked about clean coal technology. I need clean coal technology because we’re going to use it.”
While Manchin sits on the left side of the aisle, he has been known to back President Trump up on some issues. He was one of two Democratic senators to vote controversial EPA Director Scott Pruitt into his post and last Sunday, he criticized Nancy Pelosi’s immigration rhetoric and advocated for secure borders.
Trump’s push to combat the opioid epidemic hits especially close to home for Manchin as West Virginia has been ravaged by painkillers. Last week, the Charleston Gazette-Mail ran an eye-popping piece stating that a town of 2,900 people has been flooded with 20.8 million painkillers in the past decade.
Rare has reached out to Manchin’s office for comment.