- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 8, 2017

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said Tuesday that he hopes Sen. Joe Manchin also switches party affiliation and becomes a Republican.

“I’d love it if Joe would, to tell you the truth. Joe is a personal friend,” Mr. Justice, a Republican, said on Fox News.

The former Democratic governor did not say whether that was something Mr. Manchin, a Democrat, was actually considering, but the rumors have been circling after President Trump won the state by a landslide margin last year.

Mr. Justice explained his own decision to switch to the Republican Party, after recently changing his party identity to the Democratic side in 2015. He made the announcement at a rally with Mr. Trump in his state last week.

“When we really got right to crunch time, when I really needed my party, the Democrats at the time, they walked away from me, and we’ve let a lot of people in our state get hurt,” Mr. Justice said.

He also said the president and his family are “personal friends” and that he wishes the press would let him do his job.

“I wish the press would get off his back. This man is trying. This man is a good man, and he really cares. This is not a reality TV show. I mean, this is serious stuff,” Mr. Justice said.

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