West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin backed away from statements made earlier this week, saying that he had reservations about voting for both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, but that he would support the president regardless.
National Journal reported that Manchin had vocalized concerns about voting for the president. But in a statement provided to The Daily Caller, Manchin qualified those remarks.
“I strongly believe that every American should always be rooting for our president to do well, no matter which political party that he or she might belong to,” Manchin said in the statement. “With that being said, many West Virginians believe the last three and a half years haven’t been good for us, but we’re hopeful that they can get better.”
“I have some real differences with both Governor Romney and the president, as I have said many times. I think there are many West Virginians like me who have deep concerns about Governor Romney understanding the challenges ordinary people face,” Manchin went on. “And there are many West Virginians who believe that he’s out of touch, especially because of his plan to end Medicare as we know it and privatize Social Security.”
“With that being said, many West Virginians and I also have concerns about the Obama Administration when it comes to energy — coal in particular — and the need to get our financial house in order,” Manchin continued. “Like all West Virginians, I will be watching very carefully as this race develops. Whoever is president, my first priority is the same — as always. I look for what’s best for West Virginia and the nation as a whole.”