Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Sunday that Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, is “never going to” change parties like Sen. Krysten Sinema of Arizona.
“I’ve known Joe Manchin for a long time. He was my mentor governor when I got elected in 2009. He’s never going to be a Republican, in my view,” Mr. Christie, a Republican, said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Ms. Sinema’s changing her party affiliation has surprised Washington as it renewed questions about whether the chamber’s other moderate Democrat, Mr. Manchin, might follow suit.
Ms. Sinema has been accused by Democrats of switching parties to better position herself for reelection in 2024, when she’s expected to have challenges from her left and right.
But Mr. Christie argued that Mr. Manchin’s roots in the Democratic Party are stronger, noting that the senator has served as a Democratic governor in the otherwise reliably red state of West Virginia. Mr. Manchin is also up for reelection in 2024.
“I think Joe Manchin is a Democrat going all the way back to his mom and dad, it’s part of who he is,” Mr. Christie said. “He’s a different kind of Democrat than the Washington Democrats today, but he also showed that six years ago he’s a very formidable candidate as a Democrat in a state that Donald Trump won by 40 points.”
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