The West Virginia senator doesn’t put it quite that way. But more than any other Democrat in Congress, he’s positioned himself as a vocal Trump ally. In fact, the senator, up for reelection in a state Trump won by more than 40 points, told POLITICO he isn’t ruling out endorsing Trump for reelection in 2020 — a position practically unheard of for a politician with a “D” next to his name.
“I’m open to supporting the person who I think is best for my country and my state,” Manchin said this week from the driver’s seat of his Grand Cherokee, insisting he’s game to work with any president of either party. “If his policies are best, I’ll be right there.”
Trump’s popularity in West Virginia has Republicans salivating over the prospect of knocking off the legendary 70-year-old senator and former governor this fall. In response, Manchin is sidling up to the president — his policies, his nominees, at times even Trump himself — as the independent-minded Democrat prepares for the toughest race of his career against GOP state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.