Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., fired back at criticism over his decision not to back individual Democratic Party stances and said that he will not be "wrangled into voting for shit" he doesn't agree with, adding that he "doesn't give a shit" if he ultimately wins or loses re-election in 2018.
"I don't give a shit, you understand? I just don't give a shit," Manchin said, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail. "Don't care if I get elected, don't care if I get defeated, how about that. If they think because I'm up for election, that I can be wrangled into voting for shit that I don't like and can't explain, they're all crazy."
Manchin was responding to Democratic Party critics over his refusal to sign a letter outlining the Democratic Party's stance on tax reform as Republicans look to reform the tax code. He was one of three Senate Democrats not to sign the letter, along with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind. All three senators are up for re-election in 2018.
"I'm not scared of an election, let's put it that way. Elections do not bother me or scare me. I'm going to continue to do the same thing I've always done, extremely independent," Manchin said.
"The bottom line is, if it doesn't help West Virginia, it doesn't make sense to me, and just because there's an election doesn't mean I sign on or don't sign on," Manchin said. "If you look at all the time I've been here, there's stuff I don't sign on to. I just don't think it's a good way to do business when you don't try to get people from the front end."
The Democrats' letter was addressed to President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. It outlines three "key principles" Democrats plan to follow in the tax reform fight: That any legislation doesn't "increase the burden" on the middle class, for any bill to go through regular order and not reconciliation, and for any bill to not increase the deficit or cut programs, including Medicaid or Social Security.
Republicans are pushing to have tax reform passed by Thanksgiving.
Manchin is likely to face either Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., or West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey next November.