What’s Joe Manchin been doing as Democrats consider presidential candidates?
Doing a town hall at the University of Charleston
Yesterday, Manchin spoke at a town hall about a variety of subjects. On his impeachment vote, Manchin explained his reasoning:
On the subject of impeachment, Manchin said he made his decision to vote to convict Trump after listening to Alan Dershowitz, the president's defense attorney, present his closing argument.
“[Dershowitz] said, listen, if the President thinks it's in the best interest for the country, then he’s able to do it,” Manchin said. “I've never had anything go through me more than that."
“I’m sitting there and said, 'That’s not how I understand the country that we live in and the democracy we have.'"
Visiting Bloomberg’s headquarters
From Wednesday’s Washington Post:
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. V.) visited Michael Bloomberg's 2020 campaign headquarters in New York City over the holiday weekend, a source familiar with the visit told Power Up.
The Post noted that Manchin and Bloomberg had a history:
Aside from the shared experience of being taunted by Trump for their size, Manchin and Bloomberg, a staunch gun control advocate, have previously worked together on expanding background checks. Bloomberg, then the co-chairman of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign, commended Manchin back in 2013 for spearheading bipartisan legislation that required background checks for commercial gun sales. Bloomberg even hosted a fundraiser for Manchin in return for his work on the issue. Bloomberg in recent weeks has collected a spate of endorsements from lawmakers he's previously donated to and fundraised for.
Because of Bloomberg’s positions on gun control and climate change, however, the Post thinks that any endorsement by Manchin would be tricky.
Note – Manchin told Fox News last year that he could not support Bernie Sanders:
When Fox News’s Neil Cavuto asked whom Manchin would vote for if the Vermont progressive ended up becoming the Democratic presidential nominee, Manchin responded, "Well, it wouldn’t be Bernie.”