West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin is shying away from Hillary Clinton’s assistance in his 2018 Senate race, the Washington Examiner reports. Manchin would view any help from the 2016 failed Democratic presidential candidate as the kiss of death, and told MSNBC’s “Kasie DC” Sunday that an electoral plug from Clinton “wouldn’t be wise.”
Manchin was asked if he felt like a “dead man walking” after the state voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in 2016.
The Democratic senator countered that he didn’t think so, claiming that despite his party status, “I’m just West Virginia period. It’s not Democrat, Republican to me.”
He didn’t think the folks at home would take well to a visit from Hillary Clinton. “It wouldn’t be wise for Hillary to come to West Virginia. It wouldn’t be a good thing for her or for me,” he told MSNBC.
Although Manchin contends that his friendship with both of the Clintons remains intact, he said Hillary’s comments during the 2016 presidential campaign about phasing out coal as an energy resource amounted to political suicide in his state. Manchin called those remarks “very harmful and very heard to justify…She made a big mistake and it was wrong.”
Clinton notoriously told West Virginia voters in a town hall meeting in March 2016 that “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” Trump effectively used the comments against Clinton during the presidential campaign while Clinton could only say that she had made a “misstatement” when the remarks energized Trump and hurt her polling numbers in West Virginia. She also promised a $30 billion government spending program to help the region move away from coal mining.
Clinton has inserted herself into the 2018 midterm elections in past weeks, campaigning for selected Democratic candidates.