While Democrat strategist James Carville is fine continuing to support Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., he is vowing to help primary Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.
Carville said it is all about Democrats winning as many seats in Congress as possible, and if Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., runs for the Senate in 2024, Carville will back him.
"She's not going to win a primary against Rep. Ruben Gallego, I'll tell you that damn much," Carville told Vox on Thursday. "And I will personally volunteer to help him fundraise because I think we can keep that seat if he runs."
Carville, the famed Democrat orator of "it's the economy, stupid," is saying his support for Manchin and not Sinema after they blocked the lifting of the Senate filibuster to pass partisan voting reforms comes down to Democrat numbers in Congress.
"Understand that Joe Manchin is a Roman Catholic Democrat in a state in which not a single county has voted Democrat [for president] since 2008," Carville said. "I repeat: not a single county has voted Democrat since 2008.
"Politics is about choices, and he's up for reelection in 2024. If Manchin runs for reelection, I'll do everything I can to help him because it's either going to be Joe Manchin or Marsha Blackburn. It ain't Joe Manchin or Ed Markey. You got to understand that. It's really that damn simple.
"Now the situation with Sinema in Arizona is an entirely different situation."
Sinema is one of two Democrat senators in a state that has been trending blue as those voters have migrated from California and other liberal northeast states. Carville said her politics did not have to identify with moderates like Manchin's has to.
"I can't explain it, and no one else can," Carville said, rejecting the notion a moderate Democrat can oppose partisan legislation if there are Democrat alternatives in the next election cycle. "The only explanation people have given is that she wants to be the next John McCain.
"I've never met her, I have no idea what the hell she's thinking," Carville added. "I've talked to people who know her and the only theory they have that makes any sense is that she views herself as some kind McCain-esque maverick.
"But look, I'm out of gas on this one. I really am."
Gallego has his own 2022 midterm election to focus on this year, before Sinema's Senate seat is up for grabs in 2024.
"I've known Sen. Sinema since we were both in our mid-20s and starting out in politics here in Arizona," Gallego told CNN earlier this month. "The only consistency about Sen. Sinema's roles and positions is inconsistency.
He added, "2024 is a long time from now. I'm focusing on 2022. I never say no to the future."
"I think at this point right now she is really disappointing a lot of Arizonans," he concluded.
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