In an exclusive scoop, Mother Jones is reporting that West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who has become increasingly centrist within the Democratic Party, has already crafted a way for himself to leave it for good.
Mother Jones reports that the increasingly unpopular Manchin, often seen on his houseboat, has told his closest allies that he is considering leaving the Democratic Party “if President Joe Biden and Democrats on Capitol Hill do not agree to his demand to cut the size of the social infrastructure bill from $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion”, according to people who have heard Manchin discuss this.
Manchin has said that if this were to happen, he would declare himself an “American Independent” despite his clearly more Republican ideals. But his Independent status would allow him to vote with Republicans.
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) October 20, 2021
Manchin has already devised a detailed “exit strategy” for his departure, according to the Mother Jones exclusive, and told associates that he has a two-step plan for exiting the party. First, he would send a letter to Sen. Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, removing himself from the Democratic leadership of the Senate. (He is vice-chair of the Senate Democrats’ Policy and Communications committee.) Manchin hopes that would send a signal. He would then wait and see if that move had any impact on the negotiations. After about a week, he said, he would change his voter registration from Democrat to independent.
MANCHIN to @burgessev and me on the report he is threatening to leave the Democratic Party if his demands are not met on infrastructure: “I can’t control rumors and it’s bullshit, bullshit spelled with a B, U, L, L, capital ‘B’”: pic.twitter.com/ex8iHMIiSs
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) October 20, 2021
Manchin also told associates that he was “prepared to initiate his exit plan” and had mentioned the possibility to President Biden. But he was encouraged by the conversations that he had at the start of the week with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and top Democrats and said he did not see a reason to take this step quite yet. Still, he has informed associates that because he is so out of sync with the Democratic Party, he believes it is likely he will leave the party by November 2022.
Manchin suggested he might switch to identify as an "American Independent" and I just don't think he's quite thought through what he'd go by, considering the very obvious George Wallace connection there… pic.twitter.com/dr2Z9yfpwh
— Geoffrey Skelley-ton💀 (@geoffreyvs) October 20, 2021
Watch Mother Jones’ video coverage of the story, below.