McConnell: Manchin Welcome in the GOP; Possible He’d Keep Energy Chairmanship

On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) sounded off on Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) reportedly thinking about leaving the Democratic Party.

The White House slammed Manchin as disloyal to the party after the senator rejected President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.

McConnell told “The Hugh Hewitt Show” that if Manchin were to join the GOP, he would find “a lot of folks who have similar views on a whole range of issues.” He added it was possible Manchin would get to keep his chairmanship of the Energy Committee if he made the move.

“[W]hat the White House did to Joe Manchin the other day, basically calling him a liar, it was astonishing,” McConnell declared. “Usually, when you’ve got a member a little bit out of sync with everybody else, you give him a lot of love. They did exactly the opposite.

Host Hugh Hewitt asked, “Have you spoken with him or written to him about whether or not he might want to cross the aisle like Winston Churchill and Jim Jeffords did?”

“Well, you know, as I’ve said the last couple of days, I’ve had this conversation with him off and on for a couple of years,” McConnell replied. “We come from states that have a lot in common, that have become increasingly red over the last decade or so. And I think what Manchin is discovering is that there just aren’t any Democrats left in the Senate that are pro-life and terribly concerned about debt and deficit and inflation. So he feels like a man alone. If he were to join us, he’d be joining a lot of folks who have similar views on a whole range of issues.”

“[W]ould he get to keep his chairmanship of Energy? Energy is a big deal for West Virginia. He’s chairman right now. If he switched over, would the gavel stay in his hands?” Hewitt asked.

“That’s something we’d talk to him about. Obviously, he, I’m sure, enjoys being chair of the committee. It’s important to West Virginia. And all of those things are things we’ve discussed,” McConnell advised.

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent


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