Leftist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) lashed out at moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) Sunday after Manchin scuttled the Democrats’ latest spending package.
Appearing as a guest on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Sanders claimed that the U.S. is “moving rapidly into an oligarchic form of society.” He went on to blast Manchin for allegedly sabotaging President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda and accused him of being beholden to the ultra-rich instead of working-class people in West Virginia.
“He didn’t abruptly do anything,” Sanders said of Manchin’s sudden break in negotiations. “He has sabotaged the president’s agenda. No, look, if you check the record, six months ago, I made it clear that you have people like Manchin, [Sen. Kyrsten] Sinema, to a lesser degree, who are intentionally sabotaging the president’s agenda… Nothing new about this. The problem was that we continued to talk to Manchin like he was serious; he was not. This is a guy who’s a major recipient of fossil fuel money, a guy who has received campaign contributions from 25 Republican billionaires. You think this guy is serious?”
Sen. Joe Manchin is “intentionally sabotaging the president's agenda, what the American people want, what a majority of us in the Democratic caucus want,” Sen. Bernie Sanders tells @MarthaRaddatz.
"Nothing new about this." https://t.co/PCOX9tBRwR pic.twitter.com/kvuAscJ74B
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) July 17, 2022
Host Martha Raddatz led to a video clip of Manchin expressing concerns that skyrocketing inflation was hurting West Virginia families. Sanders dismissed the idea.
“Look, the same nonsense that Manchin has been talking about for a year,” Sanders said. “West Virginia, a beautiful state, I have had the pleasure of being there, great people, it’s one of poorest states in this country… Ask the people of West Virginia whether we should demand the wealthiest people and large corporations start paying their fair share of taxes. Ask the people whether or not all people should have health care as a human right… that’s what they will say. In my humble opinion, Manchin represents the very wealthiest people in this country, not working families in West Virginia or America.”
Sanders went on to say that voters must elect Democrats to protect the climate. “It ain’t Democrats. It isn’t the president. It’s the future of the planet,” he said. “When Manchin sabotages climate change, this is the future generations what’s going on right now… This is an existential threat to humanity. What this election must be about is whether or not we’re going to vote for candidates who have had to stand up for working people, stand up for the planet and have the courage to take on the billionaire class who dominates our economy… That’s what this election is about… We need more progressive Democrats.”