Real Clear Politics is reporting that “just five weeks away from a tougher Senate race than he expected against Republican John Raese,” West Virginia Governor Gov. Joe Manchin (D) is retreating from his support of the Affordable Care Act, and is now saying that he would join Republicans in repealing parts of the law — making him the first Democratic Senate candidate to endorse some part of the GOP’s health care ‘Pledge.’ From the RealClearPolitics interview:
“I believe in health care reform. I don’t believe in the way this bill was passed,” Manchin said Sunday afternoon. “Why they overreached, I don’t know.”
Pressed on his support for repeal, Manchin clarified that he favored “repealing the things that are bad in that bill.” He ticked off a list of reforms in the law that he supports and asserted there is broad agreement in both parties for many of them. “Can’t you keep that as a good base?” he said, adding, “It’s a great bill.” He emphasized that he’s not calling for wholesale repeal and just wants to roll back parts of it but said, “You do need to.”
But Manchin’s newfound opposition to parts of the law is peculiar, given his past support for the President’s reform efforts. The Wonk Room dug up a video from March 17, 2010, in which Manchin says that he would vote for reform and urges opponents to give the bill a chance. “Let’s try, let’s try to make this. Bring us all in. Let’s make it work,” he said earlier this year.