Fox News host Dana Perino said Wednesday that there was no one who could “sit on a fence like Joe Manchin.”
Perino joined “The Five” to discuss Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s call for a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package — a move that had been criticized by progressives who wanted to use budget reconciliation to pass President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion plan. (RELATED: ‘Joe Biden, Will You Ever Talk To Us?’: Dana Perino Notes Media Frustration As Bidens Give First Interview To People Magazine)
Co-host Juan Williams shared a clip of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who said that Democrats planned to push the plan through with or without Republican support. Williams then turned the question to Perino, asking whether she thought standing in Schumer’s way might put Manchin at any real risk of a more progressive primary challenge.
“Dana, let me just start with a reality test here, is there another Democrat, far left or anybody, who can actually defeat Joe Manchin in a primary or general election in West Virginia?” Williams asked.
“So, I mean, have you ever known any senator who can sit on a fence like Joe Manchin? It’s really, really incredible,” Perino said, noting that Republicans have tried to take the seat from him a number of times but they’d failed to do so.
“And the Progressives coming after him in West Virginia, that is a complete gift to Joe Manchin,” Perino continued. “Kamala Harris coming in there trying to pressure him, and he is like, no, I am fine, push back on that, and then everyone thinks, oh, he could be the one, he could be the one to push back on a $15 an hour minimum wage or this $1.9 trillion. Joe Manchin is our guy.”
Perino’s final assessment was that despite his calls for bipartisan agreement, Manchin was likely to side with Democrats in the end and Schumer was well aware of that.
“Dana is spot on,” co-host Jesse Watters agreed. “The Republicans overly romanticized Joe Manchin. The Republicans hooked up with Joe Manchin a few times on judges and they think they are in a relationship. No. He’s going to go home with the Democrats. That’s how it’s always going to be.”