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‘I Wouldn’t Characterize It That Way’: Jen Psaki Tries To Claim Joe Manchin Wasn’t Bullied Over BBB
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 22: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House December 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. Earlier on Wednesday, President Biden spoke on measures the White House is using to mitigate supply chain bottlenecks, incentivizing new truck driver hirings and expanding domestic production. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

White House press secretary Jen Psaki tried to claim Wednesday that Democrats in Congress and in the White House had not bullied Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) in their efforts to gain his vote for President Joe Biden’s sweeping Build Back Better Act.

In answer to a question from Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich, Psaki first said that she would not characterize the way that other Democrats treated Manchin as “bullying” and then pivoted to suggest that the West Virginia Senator was used to fighting hard battles and was not likely to wilt under pressure.

“Is there going to be a softer, I guess, approach … in dealing with Sen. Manchin & some of the other … Democrats in the party who have been very vocal about being disappointed in him. Is there sort of a shift in strategy since this all blew up over bullying?” Heinrich asked.

“Well, again, I wouldn’t characterize it that way, Jacqui,” Psaki began. “But I would tell you that Senator Manchin is somebody who has won many tough-fought fights in West Virginia. He comes proudly from a coal-mining family, he’s a pretty outspoken advocate for the things he believes in and the things he doesn’t — and I would doubt he’s a withering flower on the side of the road, so …”

Heinrich also asked Psaki whether the White House staffer responsible for calling Manchin out by name last week — in a statement designed to pressure him to vote in favor of the president’s behemoth social spending package —had been dealt with, especially after Manchin made it clear that had been what ultimately pushed him to stop negotiating with the White House and announce he would not support the bill.

Psaki said that she was not well-versed with the particulars of Manchin’s comments, but that if there was more information to be had on the subject she could find it.

Manchin announced his plan to vote “no” during an appearance with anchor Bret Baier on “Fox News Sunday,” arguing that he could not support anything that he did not feel he could explain when he went home to his constituents. He also cited continued concerns that inflation was not, as the White House has claimed, “transitory” — and noted that the people of West Virginia were already feeling the impact of rising prices across multiple aspects of their lives.

The White House responded with a statement drafted by Psaki that accused Manchin of reversing his position, breaching commitments made both to President Biden and fellow Democrats in the House and Senate, and negotiating in bad faith.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘I Wouldn’t Characterize It That Way’: Jen Psaki Tries To Claim Joe Manchin Wasn’t Bullied Over BBB