‘He Would Be Happier’: Former Democrat Jeff Van Drew Says He Hopes Manchin Joins Republican Party

[Screenshot/Rumble/Daily Caller]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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A former Democrat who switched parties over the impeachment of former President Donald Trump said he “hopes” Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin will join the GOP.

Republican New Jersey Rep. Jeff  Van Drew joined Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” on Tuesday where he openly invited Manchin to join his party and said, “he would be happier in the Republican Party.” Sources around the West Virginia senator have fueled rumors that he may leave the Democratic Party — likely to become an Independent — after he doomed the passage of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act,  Axios reported Monday.

“I don’t know he will [switch parties], I sure hope that he will, and I surely invite him to come into our party. I really believe he would be happier in the Republican Party,” the former Democrat said. “What’s happened to Joe Manchin is in some ways similar to what happened to me, you know, I wouldn’t vote for impeachment and I was beaten up by leadership in Washington, the leadership back in the district.”

“In fact, the last thing that was said to me and I’ll never forget it is ‘you will obey’ and I was threatened. And just like Joe Manchin’s from West Virginia, I’m from New Jersey and let me tell you, you don’t say that.” (RELATED: Psaki Refuses To Address Disagreement Between Manchin And Biden Over Build Back Better Bill)


Van Drew announced his intent to switch parties in December of 2019, in light of the House’s vote for the impeachment of the former president. The New Jersey representative was one of two House Democrats to vote against impeachment, along with Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson.

The representative said the Democratic Party changed due to its “constant berating of the president” and a lack of information and bipartisanship. He called the “unconstitutional” impeachment the “final straw.”

“I belong in the Republican Party, it’s a party that basically—no party’s perfect—does care about America, cares about our future, and does not want to make us a socialist, Marxist state. The changes in this Democrat[ic] Party now is so remarkable, and not in a good way.”

Manchin has received backlash from members of his own party regarding his decision to vote against Build Back Better. Van Drew, agreeing with Manchin, said the legislation will “change the very structure” of the country. He also criticized the treatment of those disagreeing with their party.

“People are pressed and pushed into voting even in ways that they don’t want to,” Van Drew continued. “You see that in the House of Representatives all the time. There will be a bad bill that goes through, I’ll vote ‘no,’ other Republicans will vote ‘no.’ I’ll talk to a few of my more moderate Democratic friends that are over there and say ‘why’d you vote for that? I know you kind of well and I know you don’t believe it.'”

“And they’ll say ‘yeah, we just kind of had to.’ That’s not good government. That’s not America. That’s not what we believe in.”

Manchin has cited concerns about inflation, the supply chain crisis and the national debt as key reasons for opposing the bill. Congressional Budget Office estimates found that Build Back Better would raise the debt by $367 billion over a ten-year period, and add approximately $3 trillion if certain programs remain permanent.

Left-wing members of Congress have called on the legislation to be brought forward for a vote on the Senate floor.

“If Sen. Joe Manchin wants to vote against the Build Back Better Act, he should have the opportunity to do so with a floor vote as soon as the Senate returns,” Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said.