President Donald Trump on Thursday repeatedly attacked Sen. John Manchin telling a West Virginia business roundtable the vulnerable Democrat has "voted against tax cuts" and other policies.
"He also voted against medical help and healthcare," Trump said, referring to eliminating the Obamacare individual mandate that was repealed last year in tax-reform legislation. "That's bad.
"We can't have it."
In a speech on tax reform at the White Sulphur Springs Civic Center, President Trump was flanked by two of the three candidates in the state's May 8 Republican primary — U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey — as he attacked Manchin.
"I thought he would be helpful," he told the group. "Because he talks.
"He grabs me, I grab him. 'Hello.' I say 'hello.'
"He does other things that I don't like," Trump said. "I'll be honest with you."
The other primary candidate is Don Blankenship, the former CEO of Massey Energy Co. who served a yearlong prison term after a 2010 explosion at the company's mine that killed 29 people.
Trump carried West Virginia by nearly 68 points in the 2016 election.
Manchin, in his second term, is considered one of the Senate's most vulnerable Democrats in this fall's congressional elections.
President Trump did not state a preference for Jenkins or Morrisey, only telling the audience to "go out and vote" in next month's primary.
"You're going to have a chance to get a senator that's going to vote for our program," he said. "Going to help you in so many different ways.
"You're not getting that help right now."
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