Minutes after securing reelection Tuesday night, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin took a harsher tone against President Donald Trump, blasting him for the failure of his Republican challenger, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, an ardent White House ally.
Manchin barbed the president for not being able to get Morrisey over the finish line despite the state having voted for Trump by a margin of more than 40 points in 2016.
“Let me say that I never expected that this race would be the national race it turned out to be,” Manchin said in his victory speech. “I never expected President Trump to come to this state as much as he did, sending Vice President Pence, sending his family, time after time. And you stood tall.
“What you said, what West Virginia said, loud and clear tonight: ‘Mr. President, we want our senator, not your senator,'” Manchin added.
The incumbent Democrat also condemned “toxic rhetoric” and demanded Trump play a more unifying role.
“When I raise my hand and swear to God to uphold the Constitution, that’s for everybody. That is for everybody. And we’ve got to stop this absolute toxic rhetoric that’s going on in this country — we have got to stop this toxic rhetoric,” he said. “We’ve got to bring people together. Mr. President, I want you to be a president of the United States, not the divided states.”
After his speech, Manchin told Business Insider that “no one’s ever won in a state where the president had a 42-point spread,” repeating his claim that voters rejected Trump’s choice of candidate.
But Manchin said he was not worried that his harsher tone against Trump would upset the president, who often lashes out at critics and those who downplay his status as a GOP kingmaker.
SOURCE: Joe Perticone