A top Democratic spokeswoman took an unusually personal shot at Sen. Joe Manchin III, the West Virginia Democrat who has been putting a brake on the party’s most extreme impulses.
Jenna Valle-Riestra, spokeswoman for the Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats led by Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, said Sunday on Twitter that Mr. Manchin shouldn’t be able to stop the party’s voting bill because he has the wrong living arrangement.
“All I’m saying is I don’t think our founding fathers anticipated the survival of this democratic experiment to rest in the hands of a man who lives in a house boat,” she wrote Sunday.
Mr. Manchin had just published an op-ed published in his home state’s Charleston Gazette newspaper in which he announced he would vote against the “For the People Act” and doubled down on his refusal to gut the filibuster.
After Ms. Valle-Riestra’s “house boat” attack began to spread Sunday evening, she took her account private and deleted the tweet, but screenshots already had been captured.
“Wow. Democrats need Manchin to pass anything. Personally attacking him because he won’t completely rewrite the rules for their most extreme proposals doesn’t seem like the best strategy, but good luck with that,” wrote conservative commentator “AGHamilton29.”
When in Washington, Mr. Manchin lives on a houseboat, Almost Heaven, which he purchased for $220,000 and keeps anchored about eight miles south of the Capitol. It’s reportedly worth around $700,000, which is still much less than a typical family home in the better-off parts of Washington.