- The Washington Times - Monday, January 30, 2017

Sen. Joe Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, distanced himself Monday from President Trump’s ban on travel from seven countries scattered across the Middle East and North Africa, saying the executive order defied common sense.

Mr. Manchin has cast himself as a potential bridge between the Obama administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill, but said that after reviewing Mr. Trump’s executive order, he could not support the White House.

“I believe the scope and execution of the President’s action are not a common sense approach,” Mr. Manchin said in a statement.

“We should focus all of our efforts on identifying potential terrorists, but common sense would tell you that a 5-year-old trying to join their family does not present a threat to our country.”

“I am also concerned that the order was rushed through before being properly vetted by senior security advisors and members in the Administration. I stand ready to work with Democrats and Republicans who share my concerns,” he said.

Mr. Manchin is up for re-election in 2018 and is thought to be a top target of Republicans.

Mr. Trump scored a landslide victory in West Virginia in the 2016 presidential race, reinforcing the notion that Mr. Manchin could be vulnerable next year.

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