Tags: | Joe Manchin | West Virginia | conservative | Democrats

Joe Manchin Hits Campaign Trail for Fellow Red-State Dems

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 03:45 PM

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has demonstrated a willingness to criticize President Barack Obama, which is why he has emerged as a key surrogate in states where conservative Democrats are battling in tough re-election contests.

Reflecting the difficult position in which red-state Democrats find themselves in this cycle, Manchin took a unique approach in driving home how important it is to Louisiana that incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu retain her seat.

During a conference call with reporters, Manchin warned that if Landrieu lost the election and Democrats retained control of the Senate, Washington state Democrat Maria Cantwell likely would take over as Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairwoman.

Calling her "a very good person, a very good friend of all of ours," Manchin stressed that Cantwell is "very, very leaning in a different left mode," on environmental issues, reports U.S. News & World Report.

"Under any condition, it's imperative that Mary Landrieu be that top person on the energy committee from the Democratic side," he added.

Public Policy Polling's newest Louisiana poll gives Republican challenger Bill Cassidy a slight, 48-45 percent, lead over Landrieu in a possible December runoff election. They were tied in an earlier poll released in June.

"Our last three Louisiana polls have all found Mary Landrieu and Bill Cassidy within 3 points of each other. But overall, things have been creeping slightly in Cassidy's direction," said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling.

Manchin will also be taking to the campaign trail in other red states, including Georgia, North Carolina and Arkansas, reports Politico.

Manchin, however, says he will not be campaigning against any incumbent senators, including Republicans.

"To go into a state and campaign against a sitting colleague of mine doesn't make any sense at all," he told Politico. "I'm not going to go into Kentucky, and I've told Alison Grimes, I wish her the best. I’m just not going to be a hypocrite."

While he will not campaign for Grimes, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Manchin's successful campaign strategy has been used in the state.

In an ad he ran during his 2010 campaign, Manchin spoke of his opposition to the Obama administration on gun rights, his support for pro-coal legislation, and then he said he would take aim at cap-and-trade legislation.

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Then the former West Virginia governor shot a hole through the middle of the bill, "because it's bad for West Virginia," Manchin concluded.

Grimes recently ran a television spot in an effort to distinguish – and distance – herself from the Obama administration, reports The Washington Times.

Grimes appears in the ad shooting skeet, and then looks into the camera and says, "I'm not Barack Obama."

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West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has demonstrated a willingness to criticize President Barack Obama, which is why he has emerged as a key surrogate in states where conservative Democrats are battling in tough re-election contests.
Joe Manchin, West Virginia, conservative, Democrats
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Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 03:45 PM
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