Mike Pence burns Joe Manchin's friendship for the sake of politics

Pence goes after the closest thing the administration has for a Democratic ally

By Matthew Rozsa

Published February 1, 2018 9:43AM (EST)

Mike Pence (AP/Mandel Ngan)
Mike Pence (AP/Mandel Ngan)

Vice President Mike Pence went on the attack on Tuesday against Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia — a Democrat seeking reelection and one of President Donald Trump's closest allies in that party.

The focus of Pence's tweets were Manchin's position on Trump's controversial tax reform bill. Like every other Democratic member of the Senate, Manchin voted against the legislation. And Pence tried to use it against him.

"People of the Mountain State, you deserve to know, when it came to cutting your taxes, Joe voted no. Joe voted no to giving working families more of your hard-earned money. Joe voted no on tax cuts for job creators," Pence said during his recent visit to the state, according to NBC News.

Manchin responded with a statement condemning the vice president by arguing that his negative comments are an example of what is wrong with American politics.

"I am shocked that after the Vice President worked for almost a year in a divisive and partisan way to take healthcare away from almost 200,000 West Virginians, bankrupt our hospitals, and push tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and huge corporations that he would come to West Virginia and continue his partisan attacks. The Vice President’s comments are exactly why Washington sucks," Manchin wrote.

Manchin's relationship with Trump has been unusually complicated for a Democratic senator. He has supported Trump on controversial issues like the nominations of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. During the State of the Union message earlier this week, Manchin stood up and applauded the president, even while many of his fellow Democrats remained seated, arguing that it was a matter of "civility and respect."

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Donald Trump Joe Manchin Joe Manchin Iii Mike Pence West Virginia