News and Commentary

‘Political Malpractice’: NBC Guest Blames Biden For Not Taking Manchin At His Word

'They Snatched Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory'
U.S. President Joe Biden smiles while walking out of the West Wing of the White House following a meeting in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Biden said he's reached a tentative deal with a group of Democratic and Republican senators on a bipartisan, $559 billion infrastructure plan that would fulfill one of his top priorities. Photographer: Sarah Silbiger/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Sarah Silbiger/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New York Post columnist and Commentary Magazine editor John Podhoretz said Sunday that Build Back Better’s real failure did not come from Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) but rather from President Joe Biden’s failure to take Manchin at his word.

Podhoretz joined a panel discussion on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to discuss Manchin’s promised “no” vote on the behemoth spending package — which Democrats had hoped to push through the Senate by year’s end using the reconciliation process — and he argued that Manchin had been the only consistent voice throughout.

Chief “PBS Newshour” correspondent Amna Nawaz weighed in first, saying that with Manchin’s confirmed “no” vote, it was difficult to see hoe Democrats could move forward with the legislation. “It’s really hard to see a path forward for this now,” she said.

Former Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD) called it a “big blow” to the Biden administration, and went on to blame Manchin for single-handedly denying Biden one of his major policy priorities. She also noted that members of the House Progressive Caucus, who had been adamant that Build Back Better be tied directly to the bipartisan infrastructure package, were likely angry that they had not held that line.

But Podhoretz said that the Democrats should have seen this coming.

I don’t know how Joe Manchin could have made it any clearer beginning in March of this year that he was not going to support this bill,” he said, noting that once the West Virginia Senator had come forward with his toppling number — $1.5 trillion — he had not wavered from it even once.

“That is Joe Manchin. It’s been Joe Manchin all year. It’s malpractice — political malpractice on the part of the Biden administration — that they did not take him at his word. They do not have a big majority. They have a 50/50 Senate. He said, if you go this way, I’m a no, and they kept saying don’t say you’re a no, let’s negotiate, let’s negotiate, let’s negotiate.

“They snatched defeat from the jaws of victory,” Podhoretz continued. “They had victory on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and they held it until way later than they could have had it and touted it. Here they are right now with a huge loss at the end of the year. This is very bad politics, and the idea that what this demonstrates is that Biden has some kind of political talent for getting big bills through, that has now been exposed as a sham and a delusion. This is a terrible political outcome, one of the worst I think we’ve seen for a first-year president ever.”

Phil Kerpen also noted that Manchin had been clear from the outset with regard to his limits on Build Back Better — to the point that he had even sat down with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, detailing his requirements in a statement they both signed in July.

“Reminder, Manchin and Schumer signed an agreement in July, then Democrats spent five months disregarding every provision of it and somehow thinking they could bully Manchin into going along,” Kerpen tweeted along with a photo of the agreement Manchin and Schumer had signed.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Political Malpractice’: NBC Guest Blames Biden For Not Taking Manchin At His Word