MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough mocked Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin on Thursday for wanting to work with Senate Republicans on bipartisan legislation.
Scarborough jokingly said, “Well, I want my cat, Meatball, to play Chopin,” inferring that it would be impossible to get Republicans to work with Manchin or his fellow Democrats. (RELATED: Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin Breaks With Party On Gun Control, ‘Doesn’t Support’ House Measures)
Scarborough began by saying to analyst Claire McCaskill that the Republican Party has been “the party of ‘no'” since 2009, following former President Barack Obama’s election. He claimed that they have not come up with “a single major unifying plan” concerning healthcare and that they’ve “said ‘no’ to one popular bill after the other.” He added that Manchin opposes using the reconciliation process to pass legislation and reforming the filibuster.
“He wants to work with the Republicans. Well, I want my cat, Meatball, to play Chopin. I really do. It would be nice as I was having an early dinner to hear Meatball get on the piano and play Chopin,” Scarborough continued. “He’s not going to do it, but there is a chance he’ll do it before there’s a chance that the Republican Party will do anything constructive that might even remotely help America if it helps Joe Biden.”
“Joe Manchin is staking out this territory because it is helpful to him politically. He also believes in it, but it’s helpful to him in a state like West Virginia for him to be swimming upstream,” McCaskill responded. “Keep in mind, I don’t know that there are very many states that had a bigger margin for Donald Trump than West Virginia.”
She said that the way to get Manchin moving would be to set up votes, making Republicans stand “against things that most Americans want,” such as gun safety and President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan. She added that Biden has spent a lot of time talking about his willingness to compromise with Republicans, and “maybe some of them will come to the table.”
“That would be the best result, that we would get something really major through with the support from both parties in Congress. But if they stand unified in a monolithic way against these popular pieces of legislation, that’s how you move Joe Manchin. It’s not by screaming at him on Twitter,” McCaskill concluded.
Manchin vowed Wednesday that he would not vote to “eliminate or weaken” the Senate filibuster rule, despite calls from fellow Democrats to do away with the procedure. Since Democrats gained control of the White House and the Senate, Manchin has been one of the major speed bumps in the path to passing the party’s major agenda items through Congress. In addition to the filibuster, Manchin expressed his opposition to Democrats’ proposals on gun control, as well as an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15.