Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said Sunday that he would back Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona for reelection, citing her defense of the filibuster.
“She stood tall when it was time to stand tall, protecting the institution,” Manchin told “State of the Union” co-host Dana Bash. “Basically, the only thing I’ve said – I’ve been voting for 40 years, fairly conservative all the way through, I think people know I’m in the middle and a centrist. But the bottom line is on Kyrsten, she’s going to be a formidable candidate.”
“I think she needs to be supported, yes, because she brings that independent spirit,” Manchin added.
Manchin and Sinema drew the ire of many Democrats when they refused to scrap the filibuster for legislation, resulting in the defeat of legislation on abortion, gun control and voting rights. Sinema left the Democratic Party in December, re-registering as an independent.
Manchin noted when some conservatives called for the end to the filibuster while Donald Trump was president and Republicans controlled the Senate, he and Sinema opposed the so-called nuclear option in 2019.
“That’s the only check and balance you have on the executive branch of government. They changed, there was only two of us didn’t change,” he told Bash. “We stayed the same.”
“I wish her well,” Manchin concluded.
Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona, a frequent critic of Sinema, will announce his candidacy for the seat Monday, according to Fox News.
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