Top Dem Weighs In On McCarthy Controversy

On Thursday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) expressed his sentiments on the removal of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from his leadership role in the House, indicating it appeared “personal.”

Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Manchin said, “The situation felt distinctively personal. I can’t claim to know all the details. Still, it’s apparent even to some level-headed, middle-ground Democrats I’m familiar with, who typically would’ve supported Kevin McCarthy in such a scenario.” He implied that there must have been compelling reasons for their decisions.

Manchin has voiced criticism towards both the Republican and Democratic parties, condemning what he perceives as their strategy of capitalizing on the nation’s divisions.

The West Virginia moderate has played a pivotal role in crucial discussions within the Senate, notably concerning the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.

Along with fellow senators, he witnessed a historic moment on Tuesday when McCarthy became the inaugural speaker to be ousted from the role. With no evident heir, the Republicans are set to spend the week determining their next steps.

The narrow majority held by Republicans in the House has significantly influenced a handful of staunch members aiming to challenge and alter Washington’s conventional mindset.

Manchin commented on the group’s tactics: “When you incentivize and financially support individuals for negative actions, they only intensify their behavior the next day. We need a shift in approach.”

If the decision had been up to him, the senator from West Virginia emphasized that he would’ve supported McCarthy remaining in the Speaker position, setting aside any personal disagreements. “If it were up to me, McCarthy would’ve had my vote, irrespective of any personal differences,” Manchin declared.

He acknowledged that the story might have more nuances than he’s aware of. “The intricate details? Only those involved would truly know,” said Manchin. “However, for the greater good of our nation, I believe we should have risen above this.”

This discussion follows the unprecedented decision made two days prior, where the House voted to remove McCarthy from the Speaker position. Initiated by Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), eight Republicans sided with Democrats in a 216-210 vote. The Republicans included Gaetz, Buck (Colo.), Burchett (Tenn.), Crane (Ariz.), Mace (S.C.), Biggs (Ariz.), Rosendale (Mont.). and Good (Va.).