Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer didn’t have “the stomach” to continue the government shutdown past Monday last week over immigration issues.
Manchin said on NBC’s “Meet The Press” he was frustrated by the shutdown and he wanted it to end.
“I would have been hollering. I don't think Chuck had the stomach to go on,” Manchin said.
“He plays a part differently and I don't understand where, I understand the dynamics of the Democratic caucus is much different. The Democratic caucus, that's a big tent. I just said, I come from West Virginia. I'm representing my state. I'm not a Washington Democrat, I'm a West Virginia Democrat.”
Republicans and progressive Democrats have blasted Schumer for the shutdown.
Republicans have criticized him for shutting down the government over the Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals program when there was no way a deal was coming on that front. Progressives have slammed Schumer for folding on the shutdown without getting any real concessions from Republicans, aside from a promise to vote on DACA by Feb. 8.
Manchin said he told Schumer during the shutdown he thinks the Senate “sucks,” but he doesn’t think Schumer ended the shutdown in order to make sure Manchin ran for re-eleciton.
“I don't think so, no,” Manchin said, adding he decided to run for re-election because “I can make it better. I think I can contribute to bringing people together. I'm not giving up on it.”
“I mean, this is a small price to pay for the great country I've had the privilege of living in and being an American, so I'm not going to give up on it. I don't have one Republican I don't consider not my friend.”