President Donald Trump expressed frustration with Senator Joe Manchin during a trip to West Virginia on Thursday, telling voters that the so-called moderate Democrat senator was not supportive of his agenda.
“I thought he would be helpful because he talks, he grabs me, I grab him, he says hello, I say hello — but he votes against everything,” Trump said.
The president made his remarks during a visit to West Virginia to discuss tax cuts and his future agenda for the country. He commented that Manchin voted against the tax cuts and health care.
“That’s bad, we can’t have it,” he said. “It is one of those things and he does other things I don’t like, I will be honest with you.”
He also complained that Manchin was not supportive of his efforts to strengthen immigration laws.
We have very weak laws because of the Democrats,” he said. “And Joe Manchin has not helped us.”
Trump urged West Virginia voters to vote Manchin out and replace him with a Republican.
Two Republicans competing in the senate primary — Rep. Evan Jenkins and State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey — attended the event, sitting on either side of the president.
Trump did not endorse either of the candidates who are running a close race for the May primary. Both praised the president and his agenda at the event.
At the end of the event, Trump tested the audience to see which was the more popular Republican in the room.
After the cheers appeared slightly louder for Jenkins, Morrisey reminded the president that they were in Jenkins congressional district.
“It was fairly close,” Trump replied with a grin.