Manchin Won’t Rule Out Endorsing Trump Reelection Despite Conviction Vote

In a new interview with politico, Democrat Senator Joe Manchin reveals he won’t rule out endorsing President Trump’s re-election despite having voted to convict him.

Politico reports Joe Manchin thinks President Donald Trump abused his power and voted to remove him from office. But he also thinks Trump can still be a “tremendous president” and is eager to reconcile.

The West Virginia Democratic senator surprised his Republican colleagues by denying Trump a bipartisan acquittal last week. But he can’t quit Trump entirely — and is even open to supporting Trump’s re-election campaign.

“I don’t rule anything out. I really don’t rule anything out,” Manchin said in an interview in his office amid a series of attacks from the president. “I’m always going to be for what’s best for my country. Everybody can change. Maybe the president will change, you know? Maybe that uniter will come out, versus the divider.”

While it may defy logic that Manchin could support a president he voted to kick out of office, Manchin sees things differently. Trump did everything he could to defeat Manchin in 2018 and Manchin forgave him a week later. It might take Trump longer to forget Manchin’s vote, but the third-term senator is hopeful as always.

“It’s not different when he wanted to have lunch the week after I was elected. And he said: ‘I knew we couldn’t beat you.’ And I said: ‘it wasn’t for lack of trying.’ Boom, it’s over, let it go. I did. I’m asking him to do the same thing I did,” Manchin said. “He tried to remove me.”

The episode is vintage Manchin — keep everyone guessing and find a way to stay in the mix of the 2020 election, despite the dearth of opportunities to cut deals with Republicans and deploy his back-slapping brand of bipartisanship. Making peace with Trump would also help if he runs in 2024 for yet another term representing West Virginia, one of the strongest Trump states in the country. Manchin isn’t ruling that out either and said his vote to remove Trump is “no signal at all about my political career.”

Per TCO, earlier in the week, Senator Joe Manchin responded to a pair of scathing tweets against him by President Trump.

Trump wrote:

I was very surprised & disappointed that Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted against me on the Democrat’s totally partisan Impeachment Hoax. No President has done more for the great people of West Virginia than me (Pensions), and that will….

….always continue. Every Republican Senator except Romney, many highly religious people, all very smart, voted against the Impeachment Hoax. @SenCapito was all in (a great person). I was told by many that Manchin was just a puppet for Schumer & Pelosi. That’s all he is!

WATCH:

Politico reports Sen. Joe Manchin on Monday brushed off the stream of insults hurled at him by President Donald Trump, offering the president some stern advice: Grow up.

“I expect — every American and myself would like my president and our president to act like a responsible adult, and he’s not,” Manchin told CNN’s “New Day.” “For the sake of the country, I hope he does.”

Manchin’s retort followed three straight days of attacks by the president on Twitter as part of his broader campaign against those who supported his impeachment. Trump launched insults against the West Virginia Democrat’s intelligence, labeling him a “puppet” of the Democratic Party and referring to him as Joe “Munchkin.”

Manchin had been considered among the likeliest Democrats in the Senate to break with his party and vote against Trump’s removal from office, especially after the senator floated the idea of a censure of the president instead. But ultimately, Manchin has said, he found the evidence that Trump abused his office and obstructed Congress’ investigation “overwhelming.”