Manchin Stuns Everyone With Surprise Endorsement Nobody Saw Coming

The upcoming GOP primary race in West Virginia is a battleground with the political middle ground coming into question.

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Having been a swing state in the past, West Virginia is now a Republican strong state, with Donald Trump having won 68.5% of the vote in 2016 and 68.6% in 2020.

Democrat Senator Joe Manchin has crossed party lines in the past, such as last year when he made headlines denouncing Biden’s Build Back Better plan.

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The failed plan’s cost would have been $1.75 trillion and Manchin stated in December 2021, “I have always said ‘If I can’t go back home and explain it, I can’t vote for it. Despite my best efforts, I cannot explain the sweeping Build Back Better Act in West Virginia and I cannot vote to move forward on this mammoth piece of legislation.”

Manchin has in the past also endorsed Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Republican Sen. Susan Collins.

Now, Joe Manchin is crossing the aisle to weigh in on a fierce GOP primary race in his home state of West Virginia, appearing to endorse a Republican candidate in an ad on Friday.

‘It’s rare for sitting lawmakers to wade into a race pitting two incumbents against one another in a primary, much less so for the opposing party.

Manchin is the only Democrat currently representing deep-red West Virginia in Congress,’ Daily Mail reported.

Rep. Alex Mooney, who is backed by Donald Trump, and Rep. David McKinley are competing to win the GOP nomination to represent West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.

The state has lost a seat in the redistricting that came after the 2020 census.

In 2021, The Intelligencer reported on the redistricting, ‘Lawmakers settled on two congressional districts dividing the state into the southern 1st Congressional District and the northern 2nd Congressional district. but by doing this, that put two of West Virginia’s three members of Congress into the new 2nd District – David McKinley and Alex Mooney.’

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The key vote on the infrastructure plan resulted in former president Donald Trump endorsing Mooney.

Trump-backed Mooney has out-raised McKinley by more than $3 million in this campaign cycle, according to the most recent filings through April 20, the Daily Mail reported.

‘Congressman Alex Mooney is a conservative warrior running in West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District,’ the ex-president said in a statement last week.

He bashed McKinley, declaring Mooney’s ‘opponent is a RINO who supported the “Unfrastucture Bill” and the Sham January 6 Unselect Committee.’

‘Alex fights for our Veterans, for Energy and Clean Coal, Election Integrity, our Borders, Jobs, and against the horrible drug epidemic. On May 10th, Vote for Alex Mooney, who has my Complete and Total Endorsement. I love West Virginia!’

McKinley was one of 35 House Republicans to vote in favor of a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 Capitol riot, though he’s since opposed the House Select Committee assembled by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

McKinley’s campaign touted the ad on GOP fundraising platform WinRed, writing: ‘Joe Manchin knows that I’ve always fought wasteful spending and opposed liberal policies that don’t work for West Virginians.’

Manchin appeared in a Friday campaign ad attacking Mooney and instead, appeared to endorse his challenger, Rep. David McKinley.

In the 30-second ad, Manchin repeats his opposition to Biden’s defunct Build Back Better plan and defends McKinley in the attacks from Mooney.

‘For Alex Mooney and his out-of-state supporters to suggest David McKinley supported Build Back Better is an outright lie,’ Manchin said.

He continued, ‘David McKinley has always opposed reckless spending because it doesn’t make sense for West Virginia.’

Alex Mooney has proven he’s all about Alex Mooney. West Virginians know David McKinley is all about us.’

WATCH:

Manchin’s press secretary told DailyMail.com that the advertisement ‘speaks for itself.’

A Point to consider is that Mooney has been mentioned as a potential Senate challenger to Manchin when he’s up for re-election in 2024

Mooney responded to the ad by saying Manchin’s backing shows his challenger is a ‘RINO,’ or ‘Republican In Name Only,’ the Daily Mail reported.

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‘Further proof David McKinley is a complete and total RINO. Democrat Joe Manchin is endorsing him,’ the GOP lawmaker wrote on Twitter.

Politico reported in April that in an interview about the House vote on the infrastructure bill last year, Mooney said,” I’m willing to fight for conservatism. I think he [McKinley] enables and cooperates with the Democrat’s liberal agenda. He’s caving in. He’s selling out. He’s doing their bidding,” Mooney continued about McKinley. Mooney did not support the bill.

‘Sparse polling has shown mixed results, “Politico reported. “A pro-Mckinley group released a survey last month showing him leading Mooney by 5 points. An internal Mooney poll from early April found him leading by 11 points, a margin similar to surveys conducted in January and February.’

Manchin’s fellow West Virginia senator, Republican Shelley Moore Capito, has not yet endorsed anyone in the race.
West Virginia’s values are up for election.