Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has lashed out at President Barack Obama, saying that voters "don't believe he cares."
In an interview with Time
, the centrist senator said that the president has lost his emotional connection to the people, while he also called a provision in the Affordable Care Act "crap."
"There's an old saying my grandmother would say, people don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care," he said.
"And the President is bright and very articulate and speaks very well. People just don't believe he cares. That's the disconnect that I'm seeing."
With Manchin considered to be the most conservative Democrat in Congress
, political pundits expect incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to approach him about voting with the Republican conference on certain bills.
Manchin is already backing Republican calls for the president to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline, with the senator claiming that the vote will be "a slam dunk."
He's also supporting a GOP plan to fix the workweek in Obama's signature healthcare act from 30 to 40 hours, despite a nonpartisan congressional report that found it would reduce the number of people receiving employment-based coverage by 1 million people, Time said.
"To say that now we're going to verify the 30 hours — we'll be worse than Europe," he said. "I can't go to West Virginia and try to sell that crap."
told The Washington Post that he has no intention of switching to the Republican team. "I'm a moderate Democrat, proud West Virginian," he said. "If you don't have moderates on both sides, you don't get anything done."
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