Chuck Kennedy / Axios
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), speaking with Mike Allen at an Axios event about bipartisanship in Washington, said some Democrats —including him — might vote for President Trump's tax cuts, but that the plan would have to change.
"I don't think this is his tax policy," Manchin said. "He and I were talking and the President said, 'Joe, this is not going to be a tax cut for the rich. People like me.' And I said, 'Mr. President, that is a great place to start.'"
Why it matters: As a red-state Democratic senator, Manchin is a prime candidate to vote with Republicans on tax reform. These comments show he'll insist on changes.
- On Trump's attitude toward bipartisanship: "He's much more comfortable doing a bipartisan deal than holding the partisan line."
- Manchin called for "60 Minutes" opioid whistleblower and former DEA agent Joe Rannazzisi to be the White House drug czar (Trump's previous pick was bounced as a result of the CBS report): "The drug czar has to be somebody that has the expertise, has the medical background and has been personally involved."
- What needs to change in Washington: 1. No more fundraising against fellow sitting members of Congress. 2. "Change the way we redistrict...Use a computer-driven model that gives us more balance."
- What he told Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer: "Chuck, if people like me can't get elected, you'll never be in the majority."
Other guests at the event...Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.):
- On Trump: "I'm not obsessed with the President. There are those for and against him who are obsessed with him. I don't think that's healthy."
- On bipartisanship: "Once we have a couple bipartisan wins, Congress can be conditioned into this kind of behavior."
Rep. Josh Gottenheimer (D-N.J.):
- On House Democrats voting for tax cuts: "A lot of us want to get there." He said it's a regional issue, based in part on preserving the state and local tax deduction.
- On chances of bipartisan Alexander-Murray health care bill passing: "I'm actually pretty optimistic."