Joe Manchin is batting down rumors -- reported by Fox News -- that he is contemplating switching parties when he joins the U.S. Senate.
“Joe Manchin is a lifelong Democrat, and he is not switching parties. This is exactly what is wrong with Washington — individuals try to put politics before our nation,” said Melvin Smith, a spokesman in the governor’s office. “Joe Manchin wants to go to Washington to encourage Members of Congress to stop partisan bickering and start putting our nation’s needs at the forefront.”
. . . One West Virginia GOP political operative speculated that Manchin could be floating this rumor to send a message to the Senate Democratic leadership that he will not be able to vote with the Conference on key issues, as well as to attempt to scare off any potential top-tier Republican challengers.