UPDATED 7:02 AM PT – Thursday, January 27, 2022
West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin pointed out a fact that many seem to have forgotten, namely that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat. On Tuesday, the Manchin pointed out that he’s not particularly concerned about a Sanders backed primary challenge because of this fact.
Sanders has run for president twice as a Democrat and maintains leadership in the Senate caucus, but he has never changed his partisan designation from independent. According to Manchin, Sanders isn’t just an independent socialist, but also one who’s ideas are not popular with the majority of Americans.
“It’s not what I think the majority of Americans represent,” stated the West Virginia lawmaker. “I think they want a capitalist society, they want to be rewarded for hard work and they want to make sure that the government is their partner, not their provider.”
Manchin’s comments come on the heels of Sanders’s numerous tirades claiming to be doing so on behalf of Joe Biden and the Democrats. While not being a Democrat, Sanders has slammed members of the party for not backing the progressive agenda. According to the Vermonter, Manchin and his colleague from Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema, are sabotaging Biden’s agenda by not falling into line.
“You’ve got 50 Republicans who don’t want to do anything, except criticize the president,” Sanders stated. “And you have, sadly enough, two Democrats who choose to work with the Republicans rather than the president, and who are sabotaging the president’s efforts to address the needs of working families in this country.”
However, the Vermont lawmaker believes the progressive agenda is so popular that putting faces to votes taken on every piece of the agenda will force the two Democrats to decide if they’re truly on the side of the party.
Additionally, Sanders said that the Arizona Democrat Party made the right decision in censuring Sen. Sinema for her support of the filibuster. The independent also left open the possibility of supporting a primary challenge against both of them, although neither are running again until 2024.