With the political infighting becoming increasingly bitter, West Virginia’s Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said he is trying to forge a different path and do what is good for the country, emphasizing that “this toxic atmosphere is not for me.”
In an interview with The Daily Caller, Manchin insisted that “Whoever my president is I want to do well,” saying that although “There are red states and there are blue states, hopefully we are all still red, white and blue.”
Manchin said he refuses to be a partisan obstructionist against Trump. The senator acknowledged that Republicans tried to block everything that President Barack Obama wanted to accomplish, but says to his Democratic colleagues that “as bad as that was for our country, why would we want to repeat that?”
Manchin insisted that Democrats fretting about Trump being president should “do your job; try to make him the best you can. Try to help him. If he goes off course, try to get him back on course.”
He said that although it would not be possible to agree on many issues, and those disagreements should always be done with respect, congressmen on both sides of the aisle should seek compromise over policies whenever possible for the benefit of all Americans.
Manchin said he believes Trump is a president possible of such compromise and has already had more interactions and rapport with him since the election than all eight years with Obama, who he says “just wasn’t a mixer.”
“There was no relationship-building or camaraderie” with Obama, he said.
Manchin criticized those who try to widen the partisan divide, saying it used to be guilt by association, but now it’s so bad that it’s “guilt by conversation.”
He insisted that this type of hatred had to stop, as nothing can be achieved without having a dialogue with each other, insisting that “As Americans, we always win if we work together.”
Manchin explained that many West Virginia residents who had always been Democrats voted for Trump, because they felt “like a returning Vietnam veteran who did everything our country asked and then got kicked in the teeth.”
He said that his state had made major contributions over the decades to America’s status as a superpower through its hard work in mining and manufacturing, but then was left behind and “Nobody had any empathy or sympathy about the plight we were going through.”
Those that voted for Trump felt that “It can’t get any worse. We’ve been hit as hard as you can be hit.”
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