West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is weighing whether to endorse President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection bid just days after he voted in favor of convicting him on two impeachment counts.
“I don’t rule anything out. I really don’t rule anything out,” Manchin said in a recent interview with Politico.
“I’m always going to be for what’s best for my country. Everybody can change. Maybe the president will change, you know? Maybe that uniter will come out, versus the divider,” he added.
For a time, Manchin was considered one of a few moderate Democrats who some Republicans believed would vote to acquit the president. As it turned out, all Senate Democrats voted to convict the president over allegations he threatened to withhold military aid from Ukraine unless that government agreed to investigate charges of corruption involving Joe and Hunter Biden.
During his interview, Manchin noted that President Trump attempted to use his influence to scuttle his 2018 reelection, which failed, adding that a week later he forgave the president.
Now he believes Trump will return the favor.
“It’s not different when he wanted to have lunch the week after I was elected,” Manchin said. “And he said: ‘I knew we couldn’t beat you.’ And I said: ‘It wasn’t for lack of trying.’ Boom, it’s over, let it go. I did. I’m asking him to do the same thing I did.”
“He tried to remove me.”
In the days after Manchin’s vote to impeach, Trump lambasted him on Twitter, referring to him as a “puppet” of the Democrat Party and “Joe Munchkin.”
West Virginia is a deep red state and many political observers believe that Manchin’s vote to convict the president will hurt him when it comes up for reelection again, which won’t be until 2024.
Still, Manchin told Politico he thinks Trump can still be a “tremendous president.”