- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Vice President Mike Pence criticized Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia in his own backyard Wednesday for voting against President Trump’s tax cuts, telling voters that their state “deserves better in Washington.”

Speaking to employees at Worldwide Equipment Co. in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia, Mr. Pence chided Mr. Manchin for his vote against the tax-cut plan in December. He said the lawmaker voted against the tax cuts even after Mr. Pence looked him in the eye during a visit to the state and asked him to support the measure.

“People of the Mountain State, you deserve to know, when it came to cutting your taxes, Joe voted ‘no,’” Mr. Pence said. “Joe voted ‘no’ to give working families more of your hard-earned money. Joe voted ‘no’ on tax cuts for job creators. And on expanding the child tax credit … Joe voted ‘no.’”

It was one of the bluntest attacks yet by the White House in the midterm election year, in which the tax cuts will feature prominently. Mr. Manchin is running for reelection in a state that Mr. Trump won in 2016 by 41 percentage points.

The lawmaker fired back at the vice president, saying Mr. Pence’s attack is “exactly why Washington sucks.”

“I am shocked that after the vice president worked for almost a year in a divisive and partisan way to take healthcare away from almost 200,000 West Virginians, bankrupt our hospitals, and push tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and huge corporations that he would come to West Virginia and continue his partisan attacks,” Mr. Manchin said.

The senator said he “worked in a bipartisan way” last week with Republicans to end a government shutdown.

“Last night President Trump called for unity and bipartisanship,” he said of the president’s State of the Union address. “The vice president’s comments are exactly why Washington sucks. I’m disappointed in his comments but will continue to work to make Washington work so West Virginia and our country work.”

The vice president said Mr. Manchin’s poor legislative choices go beyond failing to support the administration’s tax cuts.

“When the time came to repeal and replace the disaster of Obamacare, Joe voted ‘no.’ When we empowered West Virginia to defund Planned Parenthood, Joe voted ‘no.’ And when it comes to that wall that we’re going to build on the southern border, Joe said, quote, ‘Well, I’m not voting for the wall, either,’” Mr. Pence said.

Mr. Pence concluded to applause, “Folks, Joe’s just going to keep voting against West Virginia. Now that might make Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi pretty happy, but West Virginia needs to let him know you expect better.”

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