Now Claims To Oppose Obama Despite Unabashedly Supporting Him In 2008
When Barack Obama was the Democratic nominee for President in 2008, he had no greater friend and supporter than then-West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, despite Obama’s demonstrated record as an anti-coal, big government liberal.
At press conferences and campaign events, Manchin said he was “totally committed to Senator Barack Obama being the next President of the United States,” and routinely shared his view that Obama was the right leader at the right time to lead America forward and get the economy back on track. And even after Obama lost West Virginia by 13 points in the 2008 election, Manchin still wholeheartedly endorsed Obama’s massive stimulus spending bills, telling West Virginians that the Obama stimulus “would make a big difference in the job market” and that it had provided a “shot in the arm” to West Virginia.
Over the last two years, Republicans have regularly highlighted Manchin’s past support for President Obama and his big government agenda. Click below for example:
Of course now that he’s in the Senate where he is facing re-election and sharing the top of the ticket with a President who is still deeply unpopular in West Virginia — and only after our country has suffered under three years of failed Obama economic policies – longtime politician Joe Manchin is suddenly singing a different tune.
Manchin tells National Journal this week that, “these first three and a half years haven’t been that good to West Virginia” and that he would talk to West Virginians and base his eventual decision on who to support for President based “on what is best for his constituents.”
“Whether it was claiming to oppose ObamaCare and then voting for it, claiming to be a fiscal conservative even after supporting the Obama spending policies, or now claiming to oppose President Obama after unabashedly supporting him in 2008, Senator Manchin has shown a remarkable willingness to literally say or do anything to win re-election,” National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Brian Walsh said today. “Instead of this election-year rhetoric, Joe Manchin needs to explain to West Virginians why he so proudly supported Barack Obama three years ago, despite his anti-coal record, and then offer three simple words – ‘I am sorry.’”
Joe Manchin: An Unabashed Supporter Of Barack Obama in 2008:
- “Despite Some Of The Attacks On Obama As An Anti-Coal Liberal, Manchin Said He’s Confident That West Virginians Will Benefit From An Obama Presidency. ‘I Feel Very Comfortable Working With Him,’ Manchin Said. ‘I Talked To My Colleagues, Governors Around The State That Have Coal. We’re Going To Form A Coal Coalition And Work With Him. He’s Been Very Receptive.’” (Jake Stump, “Manchin Pledges To Keep Building Economy,” The Charleston [WV] Daily Mail, 11/5/08)
- Manchin: “We Are All Totally Committed To Senator Barack Obama Being The Next President Of The United States. I Can Assure You That.” (Governor Joe Manchin, Remarks At DNC Press Conference, 6/10/08)
- Manchin: “I Can Assure You That [Obama] Is Ready And Willing To Work Closely With All Of Our State’s Democrats, Republicans And Independents To Achieve A Victory For All Of America In November, and he is definitely looking forward to coming to West Virginia again soon. I have assured him that the people of our state will join him in doing our part to achieve the change that our nation so desperately needs.” (“Manchin Says He Will Back Obama,” Charleston [WV] Daily Mail, 6/6/08)
- “‘After This Election, Congress Will Be In The Democratic Column. The U.S. Senate Will Be In The Democratic Column. Give Us Barack Obama And Joe Biden At The Top,’ Manchin Said.” (Paul J. Nyden, “‘Tour For Change,’” The Charleston [WV] Gazette, 10/19/08)
- “Both Manchin And Rockefeller Spoke Of Their Personal Relationship With Obama. ‘I’ve Talked To Barack Obama, And I’ve Met With Barack, And I’ve Had Dinner With Barack, And I’ve Never Met A Person At That Level That’s Willing To Form A Partnership,’ Manchin Said.” (Colin Booth, “West Virginia Dems Rally Local Support,” The [West Virginia University] Daily Athenaeum, 11/3/08)
- “Manchin Said He Told Obama On The Phone That He Had His Full Support. The Governor Insists Obama Is The Better Man To Help The Stumbling Economy And That He Takes An Interest In State Issues. ‘They talk about Joe the plumber, I’m going to tell you about Joe the governor,’ Manchin said Wednesday. ‘We’re looking for partnership. We’re looking for someone who understands how hard-working people should be treated in the most respectful and fairest possible way.’” (Jake Stump, “Obama Says W.Va. Still In Play,” The Charleston [WV] Daily Mail, 10/30/08)
- “‘It’s About The Economy,’ The Governor Continued. ‘West Virginia Has Done Very Well, But We Can Come Down With This National Economy As It’s Sinking Right Now. I Think [Obama] Would Be A Tremendous Partner. I’ve Never Seen A Presidential Candidate Or Heard Of One Reaching Out To The Governors State-By-State To See How They Can Work And Make Things Better.’” (Jake Stump, “Obama Says W.Va. Still In Play,” The Charleston [WV] Daily Mail, 10/30/08)
- “Not Even A Day Removed From His Own Inauguration, Gov. Joe Manchin Applauded Obama’s Inaugural Speech And Deemed The Frenetic Washington, D.C., Atmosphere Electrifying. The governor flew to the nation’s capital early Tuesday to witness history in the making as Obama was sworn in as president of the United States. Manchin said he could think of only one other time in his life when Americans felt so much hope and enthusiasm over a single political figure, and that was the inauguration of John F. Kennedy. ‘I remember as a child in the 60s everyone being so excited about a new president,’ said Manchin, who was 12 at the time. ‘I never imagined seeing anything else like it since then. But this is something special. There’s so much optimism and excitement. His speech was just excellent.’” (Jake Stump and Justin D. Anderson, “Manchin, Others Praise Long-Anticipated Speech,” The Charleston [WV] Daily Mail, 1/21/09)
Before The Inauguration, Manchin Said Obama’s Plan For A Stimulus Package Would Jumpstart The Economy
- In December 2008, Manchin Said Obama’s Plan For An Economic Stimulus Package With Funding For Infrastructure Projects Would Jumpstart The U.S. Economy Immediately By Creating Jobs And Demand For Construction Materials. “After meetings with President-elect Barack Obama on Monday and Tuesday, Gov. Joe Manchin said he is convinced Obama will move quickly on economic stimulus packages for the states. Manchin said federal funding for highway construction and other infrastructure projects would jump-start the U.S. economy by immediately creating jobs and demand for construction materials. ‘With infrastructure projects, these jobs are ready to go tomorrow,’ Manchin said Tuesday afternoon, after Obama met with the Democratic Governors Association Monday evening and the National Governors Association Tuesday morning in Philadelphia.” (Phil Kabler, “Obama Will Help, Manchin Says,” The Charleston [WV] Gazette, 12/3/08)
- “Manchin Said, ‘He’s [Obama’s] Not Just Throwing Money At This (Recession). He Wants To Make Sure There Are Investments And Value.’” (George Hohmann, “Manchin Says Obama Here To Help,” Charleston [WV] Daily Mail, 12/3/08)
By Early 2010, Manchin Claimed The Stimulus Had Provided A “Shot In The Arm” To WV And Would Make A Different In The Job Market
- In January 2010, “Manchin Said Federal Stimulus Money Had Provided A ‘Much-Needed Shot In The Arm’ To West Virginia, But The Funds Won’t Address All Of The State’s Challenges.” (Eric Eyre, “Manchin Calls For Lower Business Taxes, More Construction,” The Charleston [WV] Gazette, 1/14/10)
- In February 2010, Manchin Said The Stimulus Would “Make A Big Difference In The Job Market.” Q “Looking back at the success of the stimulus package, there seems to be a sense that a lot of states are making hard decisions and maybe it wasn’t such a great thing after all. Do you share that assessment? Do you think it’s fair?” . . . Gov. Manchin: “There’s an awful lot of that money that is coming out now going towards infrastructure — projects, state by state, I think it will make a big difference in the job market.” (Press Conference With Governor Joe Manchin (D-WV) et al, 2/22/10)