Joe Manchin Suddenly Goes Dark On Leaving Democrat Caucus

( )- Last week, West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin said he was in no rush to follow Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s lead and leave the Democrat Party.

In mid-December, Sinema announced that she had changed her party affiliation from Democrat to Independent but said she wasn’t planning to caucus with the Republicans.

During an appearance on CNN’s “The Lead” last Wednesday, Manchin told Jake Tapper that there is nobody more independent than he, arguing that this is how he’s been voting his entire life.

Manchin said he isn’t a “Washington Democrat” and many Washington Republicans are his “good friends.”

He told Tapper that the “party tribal mentality is killing our country,” and many Americans are “sick and tired of it.”

Manchin said he respected Sinema’s decision to register as an Independent, adding that she had been “very articulate” in explaining her reasons for doing it.

But Manchin remained coy on whether he would follow Sinema’s lead, telling Jake Tapper that he would make his decision when and if he makes it.

“I’m not in any hurry to do that,” Manchin added.

He said he wasn’t going to change how he votes or how he approaches a problem. He said if Republicans “have a good idea,” he would support it and go home to West Virginia and defend it. Similarly, if Democrats “have a good idea,” Manchin said he would also support that.

Manchin said he isn’t afraid to say he won’t support legislation “that makes no sense at all” whether it comes from Republicans or Democrats.

He told Tapper that Washington has become more focused on which “team” someone is on. But, he added, he is “on the American team.” Manchin explained that he would like to believe while there may be different branches, “we are all on the same side.”