Updated Jul 31, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Joe Manchin evasive on if he wants Democrats to keep control of Congress

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) repeatedly evaded questions about whether he would like to see Democrats keep control of Congress in the upcoming midterms during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," saying that he would "work with whatever I have."

Why it matters: While the Democrats' announcement of a deal with Manchin this week to reduce the deficit and address climate change and prescription drug prices was a major victory for President Biden's agenda, Democrats are facing an uphill battle with decades-high inflation and a possible looming recession.

What they're saying: Asked by host Chuck Todd whether he would personally like to see Democrats keep both the House and the Senate, Manchin replied that Americans were "sick and tired of Democrats and Republicans fighting and feuding" and that "the best politics is good government."

  • Asked again what result he would like to see in the midterms, Manchin said, "I'm not making those choices or decisions on that. I'm going to work with whatever I have."
  • "I've always said that I think the Democrats have great candidates that are running, they're good people I've worked with. And I have a tremendous amount of respect and friendship with my Republican colleagues. So I can work on either side very easily," he added.
  • "Whatever the voters choose, I can't decide what's going to happen in Kansas or California or Texas," Manchin said when pressed by Todd again about his desired outcome.
  • "I think we all have to come back to what our purpose of being in Washington for and whoever we're really working for. We're not working for any party. We're not working for any political idealism. We're working for basically, right now, a very challenging world that we're in," Manchin said.

Manchin maintained that he's "not getting involved" in elections when asked whether he would support Biden in 2024 during an appearance on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.

  • “Everybody’s worried about the elections—that’s the problem. It's the 2022 election, 2024 election."
  • "I'm not getting into the 2022 or 2024. Whoever is my president, that's my president. And Joe Biden is my president right now."

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