Tags: Joe Mancin | Iran | congress | role | nuclear | deal | reelection

Sen. Joe Manchin: I'm Not Running for Governor

By    |   Sunday, 19 April 2015 02:51 PM

Sen. Joe Manchin said Sunday he'd rather negotiate for peace and use democracy  than declare war, but conducting inspections as part of a pending deal with Iran is a necessary part of any agreement on its nuclear capabilities.

"I don't make any bones about it," the West Virginia Democrat told CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer Sunday. "We don't trust Iran and they don't trust us. It's not about trust; it's about verifying."

The West Virginia senator, who was the state's governor before coming to Washington, also on Sunday denied rumors that he's planning to return to the Mountain State to run for governor again, saying he is seeking reelection to the Senate instead.

Back in 2003, Iran had only 164 centrifuges, said Manchin, which was when then-President George W. Bush's administration took a hard-line, no tolerance stance.

"Fast-forward to today, they got 19,000," he said. "Since they started talking about a year-and-a-half ago, at least it's stopped from progressing."

Manchin pointed out that in all the security meetings he's been involved with, he's been told there are real inspections going on in Iran, and for the first time, the International Atomic Energy Agency is able to be there.

"You have got to believe some of the people that have that ability to evaluate," said Manchin. "But just going back into a cocoon and saying we don't trust and walk away from this, I don't think there's a senator that doesn't want to be involved in this process."

Manchin said he's signed onto a bill sponsored by Sens. Robert Menendez, D-NJ, and Mark Kirk, R-Ill., which says that if there is not a finalized deal with Iran as of the June 30 deadline, "we will double down on sanctions if we didn't have a deal."

Regarding reelection to the Senate Manchin said "When Senator [Robert] Byrd died, I had to make the toughest decision of my political life." At that time, I had to decide, should I try to run for Senate or stay in the governorship?"

Manchin was then only two years into his second term and had good successes with the state, and he thought he could take the same "can-do attitude" "commonsense approach" to Washington.

"I will be first to tell you I didn't think it would be this difficult," said Manchin. "It's been challenging. But I think we have made some inroads. I really believe that we have changed the whole process, to a certain extent, in the Senate to where we're willing to put our country first."

He told Schieffer that he believes staying in the Senate will allow him to continue to serve the people of West Virginia, "the most patriotic people in the country," and he knows the Senate isn't working how it should be.

"But I'm not going to stop fighting to make it work," said Manchin.

The senator also praised Democratic frontrunner candidate Hillary Clinton, saying he finds her to be "warm and engaging, compassionate and tough, all of the above."

Further, he said she'll work hard for every vote, and that she brings more experience to the table.

"She's been more on the front lines than any person," he said. "She knows these leaders around the world. With that being said, we have to have somebody that can hit the ground running."

There are a lot of good people from both parties showing interest in the upcoming race, he said, but "I just personally believe that Hillary is best prepared to do the job for America."

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Sen. Joe Manchin said Sunday he'd rather negotiate for peace and use democracy rather than declare war, but conducting inspections as part of a pending deal with Iran is a necessary part of any deal on its nuclear capabilities. I don't make any bones about it, the West...
Joe Mancin, Iran, congress, role, nuclear, deal, reelection
Sunday, 19 April 2015 02:51 PM
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