Two days after Republican Indiana Senate hopeful Richard Mourdock cited Sen. Joe Manchin as a senator he could work with across the aisle if elected, Manchin came out in support of Mourdock’s Democratic opponent, hitting Mourdock on an unwillingness to compromise.
Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly, Mourdock’s opponent, has repeatedly slammed the Republican for what Democrats say is his professed aversion to compromise.
In May, Mourdock said in a CNN appearance: “I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of successful compromise. I hope to build a conservative majority in the U.S. Senate so bipartisanship becomes Democrats joining Republicans to roll back the size of government.”
In an interview with the Indianapolis Star published this weekend, Mourdock said that that is “one of the biggest misconceptions about him is that he is unwilling to work with Democrats.”
“He is willing to work with anyone, he said, to achieve reforms on taxes, the deficit and national policies that he favors,” the Star wrote, though noted later that Mourdock was “pessimistic” that there could be bipartisan agreement.
In particular, he pointed to Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democratic Senator from West Virginia who has often sided with Republicans, as well as Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon.
On Monday, Manchin announced his support for Donnelly.
“I appreciate Mr. Mourdock mentioning me as a Democrat who he can work with, but as a Senator, you’ve got to be able to reach out to all 99 of your colleagues — because we must put America first. One person isn’t enough,” Manchin said in a statement.
“That’s why I strongly support Joe Donnelly, who has continually shown that he has the temperament and good judgment to reach across party lines to truly put our country before politics. As someone with a bipartisan approach, I can tell you we need more people like Joe Donnelly if we’re going to fix our country for the next generation,” he added.
Questions about specific senators from other parties with whom senate hopefuls would be willing to work have been problematic this cycle.
Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren stumbled on a similar question earlier this month when she said in a debate that she would be willing to work with Sen. Dick Lugar, who Mourdock and Donnelly are running to replace. Lugar, of course, would no longer be in the Senate when Warren would take office. He endorsed Brown the following day.