United States Vice President Mike Pence is apparently extremely angry with Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. The disagreement between the two top-level politicians stems from Manchin voting against a tax bill proposed by President Donald Trump despite what Pence has told others was contrary to an agreement made between himself and Manchin.
According to GOP lawmakers and administration officials, Pence and Manchin took part in a private conversation during a tax reform event in Manchin’s home state. Pence reportedly told those close to him that Manchin had given his word that he would provide bipartisan support for the tax bill that the President was seeking. Four months after the conversation between the two men Manchin cast his vote against the tax bill.
Manchin denies telling Pence that he would vote in favor of the bill and points out that it would be ridiculous for him to promise to support a piece of legislation that he had never seen. Senator Manchin says that Pence or the Trump administration has no reason to be angry with him and noted his own penchant for bipartisan voting by citing that he had voted in favor of Trump administration policies more than 50% of the time.
Pence is upset however and recently attacked Manchin on his home turf of West Virginia by repeatedly reminding all listening to him that “Joe voted no.” The opportunity was immediately seized by campaign organizers to incorporate Pence’s words into a Republican campaign advertisement against Manchin who is seen as vulnerable in the upcoming mid-term elections.
Manchin himself is now angry over what he describes as an effort to use the disagreement as an excuse to misrepresent his bipartisan reputation. Manchin believes that Spence has been selected as the “attack dog” to lead the attacks against him.
Senators from both sides of the aisle have been vocal in their displeasure regarding the growing feud between Pence and Manchin and some have even expressed that they think the attacks are bad judgment on the part of the vice-president.
Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine expressed that she does not see the wisdom in “alienating people” that have been cooperative with party goals. And Democratic Senator John Tester of Montana explains that the attacks are simply a political tactic meant to undermine Manchin’s efforts at reelection.
Forty percent of voters in Manchin’s home state support Trump and his administration. This will make the incumbent Senator’s road to reelection a bumpy as the GOP attacks against him show no signs of ending.