Sen. Joe Manchin reacts to WSAZ interview with Vice Pres. Kamala Harris

Sen. Joe Manchin reacts to WSAZ interview with Vice President Kamala Harris
Published: Jan. 29, 2021 at 10:49 PM EST
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CHARLESTON/HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - After airing Thursday evening, WSAZ’s exclusive interview with Vice President Kamala Harris drew national attention.

Friday morning, the White House answered questions about the vice president’s appearance on two stations -- one in Arizona, the other on WSAZ.

The interview even took U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., by surprise. Friday morning, Manchin visited one of West Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics. His visit comes just one day after the vice president spoke with WSAZ’s Amanda Barren about the proposed “American Rescue Plan” (ARP).

“I saw [the interview], I couldn’t believe it. No one called me [about it],” Manchin said. “We’re going to try to find a bipartisan pathway forward, but we need to work together. That’s not a way of working together.”

During a press briefing at the White House, Press Secretary Jen Psaki answered questions around a number of topics, including the vice president’s appearance on two local television stations Thursday.

“We want to make the case to the American people across the country (...) This is a way to do just that,” Psaki said.

Psaki was then asked by a reporter why Arizona and West Virginia were chosen specifically.

“I think [the vice president will] do a number of additional regional calls and regional interviews, as will members of the team,” Psaki responded.

If passed, ARP would give $1,400 checks to essentially every American. Sen. Manchin believes payments, however, should be targeted.

“We met [Pres. Biden’s] economic team and they put out what they wanted. We said, ‘Just show us the figures.’ Because people need to know. We want to help everybody that needs help,” Manchin said. “But if a person is making $250,000 or $300,000, I don’t think they’re in much as need as a person making $40,000 or $50,000. We’re going to target it.”

Two different approaches from the same political party.

Thursday, the vice president told WSAZ’s Amanda Barren she and President Joe Biden ran as Democrats, but “we are Americans and we will lead as Americans.” Vice President Harris added, “The reason I am here in West Virginia talking with you is because everybody matters whether you voted for us or not.”

Manchin says Congress has already invested $4.8 trillion in less than a year. That’s more than the entire U.S. budget, according to Sen Manchin.

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