Bernie tries to unseat Manchin and Simena. Wonder how that's going to work out for him?
I suspect that having a socialist stick his neck into your state's business is exactly the kind of press Manchin and Sinema want. Don't think Bernie's rhetoric is going to play well in these colleague's back yards. Nor do I think Sander's is going to care for the results of this Nov's midterm elections. Just a wild guess!
Sanders Says He Is Open to Supporting Primary Challenges to Sinema, Manchin
Democrats are frustrated with their moderate colleagues’ stance on filibuster rules, Biden’s agenda
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, in an unusual move for a sitting senator, said he backed primary challenges for two colleagues in his own party.
By Eliza Collins
Updated Jan. 18, 2022 10:07 pm ET
WASHINGTON—Sen. Bernie Sanders said he would be open to supporting primary challenges to Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia over the two Democrats’ refusal to support a pair of party priorities, a rare move for a sitting senator.
Ms. Sinema and Mr. Manchin have stood in the way of Democrats’ push to change Senate rules to enable the party to pass its election-law overhaul in the 50-50 Senate, drawing criticism from activists and some lawmakers. A vote on the election bill and potentially changing the filibuster are set for this week, but both are expected to fail.
Democrats were frustrated last month when Mr. Manchin made clear his opposition to President Biden’s roughly $2 trillion social-policy and climate package despite several months of negotiations to create something he and Ms. Sinema could support.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.V.) discusses the diverging views of Democrats in Congress and their influence on energy policy, vaccine mandates and the Biden administration's spending plans, in an interview at the WSJ CEO Council.
On Tuesday, reporters asked Mr. Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucuses with Democrats, if he would consider backing primary challengers to Ms. Sinema and Mr. Manchin. “Well, yeah, I would,” he replied. He said it was “up to the people in those states.”
When Mr. Manchin was asked by a reporter Tuesday what he thought of Democratic colleagues potentially supporting a primary challenger, he responded: “Bring it on.”
“I’ve never run an election I wasn’t primaried in,” he said. “This is West Virginia, this is rough-and-tumble.”
A representative for Ms. Sinema declined to comment on Mr. Sanders’s potential support of a primary challenge. Mr. Sanders’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) declined to say Tuesday night if he supported efforts to primary the two senators. “I’m not getting into the politics,” he said.
Democrats are expected to bring up the voting legislation this week, then turn to a rules-change attempt after Republicans block the bill. While Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema both support the voting legislation, they have reiterated that they won’t get rid of the 60-vote threshold, which they think allows for bipartisanship.
Neither Ms. Sinema nor Mr. Manchin is up for re-election until 2024, and no serious candidates have announced a challenge. But Rep. Ruben Gallego (D., Ariz.)—urged by some Democrats in his state to run—has begun criticizing Ms. Sinema more aggressively in recent days.
Some centrists have warned that Democrats shouldn’t put up someone too liberal in Arizona or West Virginia. Mr. Biden beat then-President Donald Trump by just over 10,000 votes in Arizona in 2020, and Mr. Trump carried West Virginia by about 39 percentage points.
On Tuesday, Emily’s List, an organization that backs Democratic women who support abortion rights, said Ms. Sinema wouldn’t get its endorsement if she didn’t reverse her stance.
“If Sen. Sinema can not support a path forward for the passage of this legislation, we believe she undermines the foundations of our democracy, her own path to victory and also the mission of Emily’s List, and we will be unable to endorse her moving forward,” its president, Laphonza Butler, said in a statement.
Ms. Sinema said in a statement: “I said on the Senate floor last week that different people of good faith can have honest disagreements about policy and strategy. Such honest disagreements are normal, and I respect those who have reached different conclusions on how to achieve our shared goals.”
Write to Eliza Collins at email@example.com
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