MSNBC puts pressure on Manchin when he won’t endorse Biden: ‘Are you going to sit on the sidelines?’

Unsatisfied with a retiring senator’s failure to endorse President Joe Biden thus far, an MSNBC host challenged the potential of ulterior motives over the “binary choice.”

(Video: MSNBC)

From a rumored third-party bid for the White House to an announced departure from Washington, D.C., West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s bucking of the Democratic Party line has kept him a focal point on a number of issues throughout the Biden administration.

Now, as leftists seethed over the likely 2020 rematch between the incumbent and former President Donald Trump, a failure to march in lockstep was not something to let pass idly by. So it was during a Friday segment on “MSNBC Reports” that host Katy Tur remained unrelenting in her insistence that the senator land on one side of the aisle ahead of the 2024 presidential contest.

After asserting, “I cannot, for the love of my country, endorse or support Donald Trump,” Manchin balked at backing Biden as he faulted the president for straying too far from the political center and indicated, “I think his staff has taken him too far left. I don’t believe that’s where he needs to be. I don’t believe that’s where he is internally — never has been — and I’d love to see him come back to that. So, I’m still working hard, trying to see if I can help a little bit there.”

“So are you waiting for him to move?” asked Tur. “Is that what you’re holding your endorsement for?”

“Well, I think he needs to move. I really do,” responded the lawmaker who noted Biden had made “a mistake at the border” but defended the so-called bipartisan border bill that would have allowed for thousands of illegal entries per day instead of shutting it down.

Turning to fear-mongering, Tur contended, “I hear you that you’re waiting for Joe Biden to move to the middle on some of these issues where you believe he’s been in the past, but isn’t it a binary choice? If you’re talking about how Donald Trump is a threat — you said he scares the bejesus out of you, you talk about how he’s not great for democracy, you just mentioned it just now, isn’t that a binary choice?”

“Don’t the policy differences with Joe Biden not really matter when you’re talking about somebody else who’s running against him, the other person who would win? It’s one or the other,” she went on.

Neither accepting nor denying her premise, Manchin further supported his position that Biden would need to come to the center if he hoped to win re-election for lacking a key element that Trump possessed: a strong base. “And they aren’t gonna get stronger or more committed unless they see a movement toward the center.”

The senator used capitulation to the climate cult as an example of the leftist agenda hurting America, a point the host ignored as she advanced her position, “It sounds like to me you’re waiting, and there will be an endorsement before November, and it’s not gonna be Donald Trump. It just sounds like right now you’re trying to use your influence and your leverage to try to move him on some issues.”

Manchin maintained that Tur was getting ahead of herself and that a large swath of the electorate would sooner sit out 2024 than settle for a supposed binary choice, prompting her to rephrase her question on endorsement, “But are you going to sit on the sidelines come November?”

“Oh, I’ve never sat on the sidelines,” asserted the senator. “We’ll just have to wait and see how it goes.”

Kevin Haggerty


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