The political wheels in the state of West Virginia are rapidly turning.
At a Trump rally last week, Governor Jim Justice announced he was switching his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. And now the state's GOP is looking to run over its Democratic senator, Joe Manchin, who is up for re-election next year.
The man leading the charge against Manchin: GOP senatorial candidate Patrick Morrisey. In a new attack on Manchin, Morrisey asked him to resign from Democratic leadership and accused him of not representing his constituents’ interests.
In an interview with the Gazette-Mail, Morrisey said:
"The bottom line is, if it doesn’t help West Virginia, it doesn’t make sense to me, and just because there’s an election doesn’t mean I sign on or don’t sign on."
Morrisey continued, "If you look at all the time I’ve been here, there’s stuff I don’t sign on to. I just don’t think it’s a good way to do business when you don’t try to get people from the front end.”
Morrisey said Manchin’s refusal to sign a letter on tax reform is proof that the senator is not working in the best interests of West Virginians.
Manchin fired back telling the Gazette-Mail, “I don’t give a s**t, you understand? I just don’t give a s**t. I don’t care if I get elected, don’t care if I get defeated, how about that. If they think because I’m up for election, that I can be wrangled into voting for s**t that I don’t like and can’t explain, they’re all crazy.”
Manchin has long been a fiercely independent thinker, both as Governor and now as Senator, he isn't one to twist in the wind while considering scoring political points. He drove home his point :
"I’m not scared of an election, let’s put it that way. Elections do not bother me or scare me, I’m going to continue to do the same thing I’ve always done, extremely independent.”
The Senate returns from summer recess in September 5, when tax reform is expected to be the next item on its legislative agenda.