Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who is up for re-election in 2018, said it “wouldn’t be wise” for Hillary Clinton to campaign for him in his home state of West Virginia.
He was asked during an interview that aired Sunday on MSNBC’s “Kasie DC,” if he was a “dead man walking” after President Trump won West Virginia by a wide margin in the 2016 presidential contest.
“I sure don’t think so,” he replied, listing off his prior political posts in the state and saying of himself, “I’m just West Virginia, period. It’s not Democrat, Republican to me.”
Asked if he’d like Clinton to campaign for him, Manchin immediately derided the notion.
“It wouldn’t be wise for Hillary to come to West Virginia. It wouldn’t be a good thing for her or for me,” he replied.
Manchin maintained that he and the Clintons are friends, but seemed to indicate that comments Clinton made about coal country, in which West Virginia is the heart, during the 2016 campaign were irreconcilable with his political prospects in the state.
— Kasie DC (@KasieDC) October 22, 2017
He said her comments were “very harmful and very hard to justify or say. She made a big mistake and it was wrong.”
In March 2016, Clinton said, “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business” if she was elected president. Clinton, who pitched $30 billion program to revitalize the region that had been hemorrhaging thousands of mining jobs by helping it transition to renewable energy development, later said that comment was a “misstatement” after being confronted by a laid-off coal miner at a West Virginia campaign stop.
Manchin supported and campaigned for Clinton during her campaign, but said at the time that her remarks were “horrible.”
Clinton is returning to the campaign trail Sunday in New Jersey, stumping for Phil Murphy, the Democratic candidate for governor, at an event closed to the press, with actress Whoopi Goldberg also expected to attend.