Manchin Hints At Potential Exit From Democratic Party

‘I’ll let you know later what I decide to do, but right now I have no intentions of changing anything…’

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., hinted over the weekend that he might join his colleague Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., in leaving the Democratic Party.

Manchin and Sinema are two of the more centrist Democrats in the Senate and have helped block some of the more radical Biden administration proposals. Their opposition to Biden has made them a target for more progressive Democrats.

Following Democrats’ victories in the Senate midterm races, Sinema announced that she was leaving the party to register as an independent, though it is not clear whether she will caucus with the Democrats still or as an independent.

Asked on Sunday whether he would follow Sinema’s lead, Manchin tried to avoid the question.

“If people are trying to stop something from doing so much good because of politics, thinking somebody else will get credit for it, let’s see how that plays out—and then I’ll let you know later what I decide to do,” he said.

“[The Democrats] know how independent I am,” he said. “The ‘D’ does not saddle me to ‘everything the Democrats want to do is right.’ I don’t think the Democrats have all the answers. I don’t think the Republicans are always wrong.”

He added that he “tremendously” respected Sinema for leaving the party.

In a statement explaining her decision, Sinema blasted the “broken partisan system in Washington” that no longer represents her or her constituents.

“When politicians are more focused on denying the opposition party a victory than they are on improving Americans’ lives, the people who lose are everyday Americans,” Sinema wrote in an op-ed explaining her decision.

“That’s why I have joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington,” she continued. I registered as an Arizona independent. ”