Rachel Maddow calls out Joe Manchin's "bad faith" opposition to Biden's nominees

Maddow called on Democratic Sen. Manchin to rethink his opposition to Biden OMB nominee Neera Tanden

Published February 24, 2021 5:35PM (EST)


On Tuesday night's edition of "The Rachel Maddow Show," the MSNBC host bashed Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia for putting forth what she called a "bad faith" opposition to Joe Biden's agenda in much the same way that Republicans like Sens. Richard Burr and Ted Cruz have. 

According to Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Richard Burr, their opposition to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as head of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) stems from the fact that he isn't a doctor, not that he is simply a member of the Democratic party. 

But Maddow quickly shot down that complaint as disingenuous by pointing out that both senators backed former President Donald Trump's former HHS secretary — who was also not a physician. 

"Sen Cruz voted for him even though you'll be shocked to learn, Alex Azar is also not a doctor," she said. "'See, it's unacceptable to nominate a non-doctor to be health secretary unless that nominee is from a Republican president in which case ..... I have to go.'"

Sen. Burr took issue with Becerra's experience serving in Congress overlooking health issues. "Sen. Burr said that's not appropriate experience for someone joining the Cabinet to work on health issues," Maddow noted, adding, "That's his stance against Xavier Becerra being health secretary. Yes, he worked on health stuff a ton in Congress but that's not the experience you need for being health secretary in the Cabinet."

Maddow then turned her attention to the other side of the aisle, calling on Manchin to rethink his opposition to Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tande. 

"The other person who is playing that same bad faith game within the Democratic Party is West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin," she said. "He  has decided this year, with a president of his own party, with a Democratic president in power, that he's got a new standard now, now he says that Biden nominee Neera Tanden has a history of having said things like calling Mitch McConnell 'Voldemort,' or calling Ted Cruz 'heartless." 

She concluded with a call to Sen. Manchin to reconsider his decision and acknowledge the double standards he is applying on President Biden's and former President Trump's nominees. 

"I think that Senator Joe Manchin not only knows his power, but I also think that he is an introspective guy who thinks about his ethical role in the world," she said. "And I find it impossible to believe that he is not reconsidering his position on this, given the starkness of the doubles standard that he is applying without even any effort to defend it."

The committee vote on Tanden's nomination was postponed Wednesday morning. 

Watch below:

By Kaity Assaf

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Democrats Joe Manchin Msnbc Neera Tanden Nominees President Joe Biden Rachel Maddow Republican Senators