Speaking to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) attacked colleague Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who said over the weekend he could not support the "Build Back Better" bill.
Behind the scenes, Manchin is reportedly telling people that he thinks people in West Virginia will take the child tax credit, turn around and spend it on drugs instead of their children. He also reportedly believes that people will take paid family leave policies and use them to go on a hunting vacation.
Sanders called out Manchin's arrogance, specifically citing the people of West Virginia who desperately need affordable drug prices and insulin that doesn't cost hundreds of dollars. Sanders said that people in his state as in West Virginia are walking around with teeth rotting in their mouths and unable to hear, and they deserve to have their Medicare and Medicaid pay for those services.
"This is the enormously important bill and the American people have got to stand up and demand that every member of the Democratic caucus — and it is pretty pathetic, I got to say, that there's not one Republican who has the guts to stand up to the drug companies or the insurance companies or the fossil fuel industry," said Sanders. "The last point that I would make on this, Rachel, is in the caucus, as everybody knows, there's a wide diversity of opinion from progressive to pretty conservative. But what is troubling to me is that you have two senators who are not just prepared to fight for their ideas but they have said, 'It's my way or the highway. If you don't do what I want, Mr. President or members of the Democratic caucus, I'm walking away from here.' And that is an arrogance I think is unacceptable."
He went on to explain that if it was him trying the same tactic, people like Manchin would be in full attack mode.
"Any member of the Democratic caucus can do that," Sanders explained. "As you well know, I happen to believe the current health care system is dysfunctional, I believe in a Medicare-for-all system. I could say if you don't believe in the Medicare-for-all, I'm walking away. What bothers me is people like Manchin turning their backs on the people of this country and basically saying if I don't get everything I want, I'm not going forward. That is not acceptable to me."
See the interview below: