Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin, who is running to fill the Senate seat vacated by Robert Byrd’s death, tells Real Clear Politics that he’s in favor of repealing parts of ObamaCare:
Manchin endorsed President Obama’s efforts on landmark health care reform and voiced support for the bill before and after its passage in March. Now, just five weeks away from a tougher Senate race than he expected against Republican John Raese, the governor said in an interview with RealClearPolitics that he supports many basic components of the law but volunteered that some of it needs to be repealed.
“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.”
The fact that Manchin is taking this stand sugegsts two things. It confirms that the West Virginia race is much closer than was expected given Manchin’s popularity in the state. It’s also another reminder that despite supporters claims during the health care debate that the legislation would become more popular once passed and it would give Democrats something to campaign on, in reality, it remains an albatross around their necks. Not only is Manchin not running on the health care law, but he’s running away from it.
Via Wonkroom, where Igor Volsky has more on Manchin’s past support for ObamaCare.