Donald Trump promises he will be ‘as tough as anyone’ against Joe Manchin

Donald Trump tore into US Senator Joe Manchin during his speech from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday, vowing to campaign against the West Virginia Democrat who he claimed was “serious” for the state by signing on the Democrats’ budget and climate agreement. .

“I’m going to go down and campaign against him as hard as anybody,” Mr Trump said, drawing one of his biggest rounds of applause of the night.

The former president also claimed that Mr Manchin, who was not up for election until 2025, had promised not to vote against him during the impeachment process.

“I would never vote against you, you’re a great president,” Mr Trump told the senator.

Mr. Manchin voted against Mr. Trump during both of his impeachments.

“When we were counting the numbers, I say, one Democrat that I know for sure, that will never vote against me on impeachment is Joe Manchin. So they take the votes in and he voted against me,” said the former president.

“I told Mitch McConnell he’s going to do this and it’s going to hurt our nation and it’s going to hurt the Republican party, and it’s going to hurt independents, and it’s going to hurt Democrats, it’s going to hurt everybody.”

The Independent contacted Mr. Manchin for comment.

Mr. Trump also went after another moderate seen as a potential obstacle to the Democratic social spending package, Kyrsten Sinema. In his speech, he hinted that he might attack her in her home state as well.

“What happened to Manchin and Sinema?” Mr. Trump said. “What happened? We’re trying to figure out what the hell happened. Where did this new philosophy suddenly come from?”

The Independent The Arizona senator has been contacted for comment.

But the former president didn’t just attack the Democrats.

He also sharply criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, calling him a “broken old crow” who was “taken for a ride” by Democrats during the bipartisan infrastructure deal to pass in 2021.

Mr Trump said he had warned the Senate leader that Democrats would continue to ask for more social spending and tax increases, even though parts of the Democrats’ Build Back Better agenda were separated from the infrastructure deal so it could be passed.

“McConnell is the most popular politician in the country, even more than crazy Nancy Pelosi,” Mr Trump said. “Something has to be done. He raises large campaign contributions for senators. That’s how he keeps his power.”

The Independent contacted Mr McConnell for comment.

During his CPAC speech, Mr. Trump also celebrated the results of a straw poll taken at the convention, which showed he is the favorite for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination among attendees.

“I damn well better win that straw poll,” he said with a laugh, describing when he learned the results.

“When you see those numbers there’s a great sense of unity, not only in CPAC, but in the Republican Party.”

The president discussed a 2024 run again, telling the crowd “maybe we have to do it again”, but stopped short of announcing a formal comeback campaign.

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