Senator Joe Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, demonstrated today that he knows how to flip-flop on the issues. During a vote in the Senate on Saturday, Mr. Manchin voted in favor of extending the Bush-era tax cuts solely for families making up to $1 million a year.
Such a move by the newly sworn-in West Virginia Democrat is indeed a risky one, considering he is up for re-election in 2012 and made the following remarks (in clip above at :30) on taxes during his campaign this year in a debate with former Senatorial candidate Republican John Raese:
“I don’t think during a time of recession, you mess with any of the taxes or increase any of the taxes.”
“I can’t look the people of West Virginia in the eye and ask them to pay a penny more until I know we’re running this government efficiently.”
In a statement sent out on Saturday, Senator Manchin said: “I was open to a common sense compromise that would extend the cuts to those who make up to $1 million—or 99.9 percent of West Virginians. Unfortunately, that did not happen.”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee released a statement on Saturday on Mr. Manchin’s vote:
“[Sen. Manchin] toed the line for his Democrat Party leaders in Washington once again today when he voted to impose a massive tax hike on American job creators struggling to make ends meet amid nearly 10 percent unemployment and a weak economy.”
Mr. Manchin, known to play both sides, also joined three other Democrats and voted against his Party on another vote that would have extended the tax cuts for only the middle class. Senator Joe Lieberman, Connecticut Independent, also voted against the measure.
Both tax bills failed to pass. Senator Manchin’s actions and explanations on Saturday are yet another example of his flip flopping, and if the Democratic Senator keeps it up, 2012 is likely to be more difficult than he realized.