Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed gratitude Sunday for West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin’s vote to confirm judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, but said that the vote will not save him from a challenge by Republicans in the midterms.
“Joe Manchin’s still a Democrat and we’re trying to hold the majority,” McConnell said Sunday on CBS’s “Face The Nation,” responding to whether he would recommend to President Donald Trump that he not campaign against Manchin, who is up for re-election at the midterms.
“We appreciate his vote for Judge Kavanaugh. I think it was the right thing to do. But we’re trying to win seats,” McConnell continued, indicating that the Republicans will still challenge Manchin despite his help confirming Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. (RELATED: ‘Thank You, Senator Manchin!’: Kavanaugh Supporters Rally At Manchin’s Senate Office After Cloture Vote)
Manchin announced his support for Kavanaugh shortly after Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins said she would vote to confirm the nominee.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey called Manchin’s decision to vote to confirm Kavanaugh a “craven political calculation.” MoveOn.org also pulled ad funding from Manchin after he announced his support for Kavanaugh Friday.
McConnell praised Collins’ speech on “Face The Nation,” calling it “one of the most consequential and outstanding speeches I’ve ever heard in the Senate in support of judge Kavanaugh.”
Manchin’s ‘yes’ vote on Kavanaugh will likely help his chances in the midterms, given that Trump won West Virginia easily in the 2016 presidential elections.
McConnell also noted that the agonizing confirmation process of Kavanaugh has actually fired up Republicans to come out for the midterms.
“Ironically, the behavior of Democrats first on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the overreach of the protesters at the Capitol have actually energized the Republican base, particularly in the red states where we’re trying to pick up seats out across America,” McConnell said.
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