Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, is up for re-election this year and is considered one of the chamber’s most vulnerable members. Because he’s trying to win in a state where more than two-thirds of voters pulled the lever for Donald Trump in 2016, Manchin doing everything he can to cozy up to the president—sometimes literally—with a new campaign ad touting his support for Trump’s border wall.
In the new ad, which was first flagged by Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur, Manchin proudly highlighted that he voted to fund Trump’s wall:
“I wanted Mexico to pay for the wall, but they’re not, so we need to do it ourselves,” Manchin says in the ad. “I voted to fund President Trump’s wall. Check the vote.”
Manchin has voted to confirm all but four of Trump’s Cabinet nominees and has said he won’t rule out endorsing Trump in 2020. It’s unclear, at this point, what values or policy positions Manchin holds that make him feel qualified to put a (D) after his name.
This ad comes at a time when the Trump administration is ripping immigrant children away from their parents and locking them up in converted warehouses along the southern border, so Manchin decided it was a great time to offer his full-throated endorsement of Trump’s immigration policies.
Last year, the senator told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that he doesn’t “give a shit” about being re-elected. If that’s true, it means Manchin supports Trump’s reactionary border policies not out of political expediency, but because he genuinely agrees with them.
You can’t cynically pick and choose which parts of this president’s agenda to support in the hopes that voters will see you as a sensible moderate. Supporting one facet of the Trump agenda is as good as supporting the whole rotten operation. Manchin has already made his choice.