Mitch McConnell says he'd welcome Manchin to the GOP if he was so 'inclined'

Manchin sparks uproar within Democratic party

Fox News Congressional correspondent Chad Pergram with the latest on ‘Your World’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed that he’d be open to West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin joining the Republican Party after several conflicts with his fellow Democrats.

On Monday, McConnell appeared on “The Guy Benson Show” podcast to discuss Manchin’s recent announcement that he would vote “no” on President Biden’s Build Back Better plan in the Senate, effectively ending its chances of being passed.


WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 06: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks at a press conference outside his office on Capitol Hill on October 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Manchin spoke on the debt limit and the infrastructure bill. ()
(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“I would imagine that your Christmas got a little bit merrier yesterday around 9:30, 9 AM Eastern time when your Democratic colleague Joe Manchin of West Virginia appeared on Fox News Sunday with Bret Baier and announced that he’s a no on Build Back Better,” Benson opened.

Benson asked whether McConnell had an “inkling” of Manchin’s vote prior to his announcement. McConnell admitted that he didn’t know how Manchin would vote but called it “the single greatest favor” Manchin could give to the country.

“Not an inkling, but I hoped. Ironically, my wrap-up press conference at the end of the session last Thursday I said the single greatest favor Joe Manchin could give the country is to kill this bill. That’s what the country needs, to see this bill killed. It is absolutely inappropriate and unnecessary at a time when we’re fighting inflation,” McConnell said.

“It was an exciting thing to hear,” he added. “It was a great shot in the arm for the country. I think it’s exactly what the country needed at this particular time.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters after a Republican strategy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Benson also asked McConnell for his opinion on the reaction from his Democrat colleagues and the White House in regards to his vote.

“I was shocked at the vitriol,” McConnell added. “And basically it seemed to me that they were calling Sen. Manchin a liar. I think that was not smart. This is a 50/50 Senate. It’s going to be 50/50 for another year, and believe me, this is not how I would handle a disappointing vote like that.”

He remarked that Manchin’s status as a moderate has put him at odds with his own party and added that he would “certainly welcome” Manchin to join the Republicans.

“He doesn’t fit well over there, but that is a decision ultimately that he has to make. We certainly welcome him to join us if he was so inclined,” McConnell said.

Benson then asked if the defeat of the Build Back Better plan could lead to a Republican majority in Congress in 2023. McConnell admitted that he’s feeling more optimistic after this potential defeat.


“The American people have seen what true liberalism looks like. Actually, I’d say more accurately what socialism looks like, and we’re headed toward a very significant midterm election next year. And we should, in all likelihood, flip both the House and the Senate to the Republican Party,” McConnell said.

“They’re in very, very tough shape, politically. I don’t see how that gets much better. No one thinks inflation is not going to still be a huge issue. We’re having a difficulty getting people back to work,” he added. “Look, the Senate is still going to be close, but I think the atmosphere in which all of our races are going to be run is even dramatically better than the last time you and I spoke.”

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