WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Bernie Sanders suggested Tuesday that he’d support primary challengers against Democratic colleagues Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, further intensifying a political battle pitting members of President Joe Biden’s party against one another.
Sanders told reporters that he thinks “there is a very good chance” that Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, and Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona, could face challenges in their states’ Democratic primaries. He said home-state voters would be disappointed that the pair have refused to support changing Senate rules to overcome a Republican filibuster against major voting legislation while also balking at a massive, Biden-backed spending and social plan known as Build Back Better.
Asked if he’d consider supporting such primary challengers, Sanders responded, “Well, yeah.”
Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucuses with Senate Democrats, didn’t elaborate on his comment, but it’s unusual for senators to suggest they’d be willing to campaign against colleagues from their own party. The move recalls more of the bare-knuckled politics of former President Donald Trump, who has gleefully targeted fellow Republicans in Congress he sees as disloyal.
Related Story: Emily’s List refuses to support Sinema for reelection
Sanders’ sentiments also lay bare progressives’ growing frustrations with the more moderate Manchin and Sinema, whom the left has blamed for stalling many of Biden’s top legislative priorities.
Manchin countered that he wouldn’t be bothered by a primary challenger.
“I’ve been primaried my entire life. That would not be anything new for me,” he said Tuesday, when asked about fellow Democrats urging voters not to back him in a primary. “I’ve never run an election I wasn’t primaried. This is West Virginia, it’s rough and tumble. We’re used to that. So bring it on.”
Sanders remains one of the nation’s leading progressive voices after strong Democratic presidential primary bids in 2016 and 2020 — and is still popular enough nationally to potentially affect Senate primaries around the country.
Manchin and Sinema aren’t up for reelection until 2024, but both could face serious primary challengers then. Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona, who has sharply criticized Sinema for not supporting the voting rights legislation, hasn’t ruled out launching a challenge against her.
Earlier Tuesday, Emily’s List, a group that works to elect women nationwide and has deep ties to Democrats, said it would no longer endorse Sinema if she failed to support changing Senate rules to advance the voting legislation. NARAL Pro-Choice America, which supports abortion rights and is also influential in top Democratic circles, released its own statement suggesting it would no longer support or endorse Manchin or Sinema because of their stances on the legislation.
The legislation in question is The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, which civil rights activists say is vital to safeguarding American democracy as Republican-led states pass new restrictive voting laws. It would make Election Day a national holiday while ensuring access to early voting and mail-in ballots — both of which have become especially popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. The package also seeks to let the Justice Department intervene in states with a history of voter interference, among other changes.
Manchin and Sinema say they support the legislation but are unwilling to change Senate rules to muscle the legislation through the chamber over Republican objections. With a 50-50 split, Democrats lack the 60 votes needed to overcome the GOP filibuster.
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Who cares, Bernie?
He always looks like a mad scientist.
I don’t think scientist, just MAD Socialist/Marxist!!!
I’d love to see BOTH Manchin and Sinema, say “FINE we will back someone to PRIMARY YOUR SORRY *** out of office!”
I know we don’t want anymore RINOs but it would really serve the Democrats right if they both switched parties.
And the Republicans can Primary Bernie with Vermont Native Elizabeth Von Trapp, granddaughter of Baron Von Trapp family, which the Sound of Music was created about, whose DNA is great at defying and dodging National Socialists like Bernie. The Vermont Hills are alive with the sound of his propaganda, and the Communist alphabet music of Marxist “Doe Ra Me”. So long farewell, Auch Weidersehen Good-bye Bernie, we’d like to say, we’re tired of your lies. Do evil unto others and it is soon done unto YOU, or did Stalin not warn you of that during your honeymoon in Moscow. Bernie has been flitting, floating and fleetly fleeing about the Capitol way too long.
Manchen is more a rino material than some. BUT IT WOULD AT least kill their majority!
Boinie? That piece of chicken flop!! You want to “challenge” Manchin in West Virginia?? Bring it on, Boinie, lol. I never USED to be a Joe Manchin fan, but I am NOW!! He and Sinema have done what they had to do to save this country from the utter ilk that the Democrats stand for. Those two Senators have “WOKE” up and smelled the roses. Too bad the other 48 Democrat Senators have failed to do xo.
“Manchin countered that he wouldn’t be bothered by a primary challenger.”
“I’ve never run an election I wasn’t primaried. This is West Virginia, it’s rough and tumble. We’re used to that. So bring it on.”
“Emily’s List, a group that works to elect women nationwide and has deep ties to Democrats, said it would no longer endorse Sinema if she failed to support changing Senate rules to advance the voting legislation. NARAL Pro-Choice America, which supports abortion rights and is also influential in top Democratic circles, released its own statement suggesting it would no longer support or endorse Manchin or Sinema because of their stances on the legislation.”
What we are seeing here is an example of the reign
of the Socialist Democrat Party State Dictatorship.
The “Socialist Democrat Party State” political officers, Gestapo, Woke and Cancel Culture are just getting started.
You will obey, be loyal and support the policies of the “Socialist Democrat Party State” or you will be classified as “Enemies of the State” and “Domestic Terrorists”. 🙁 🙁 🙁
This treasonous, dishonorable, dishonest, non-credible, immoral, socialist Democrat Party has become our country’s most destructive and deadliest ENEMY!
Isn’t a Berine Sanders that u scrap out of a TOILET BOWL. Or a MOP BUCKET after U clean a LATRINE. It sure looks like Someone used his head for a MOP.
R-A-G-G, M-O-P-P, Socialist RAGMOP, Even Beanie and Cecil know better than Boinie!
There’s days his HAIRDO looks like HE WAS used to clean up a toilet…
Like people in AZ and WV would support a Commie candidate over their current Dem senators!
Pretty sad that the only things standing between us and oblivion are a Hootenany and a lesbian.
WITH how many libtards have flooded INTO AZ, i wouldn’t put it past that state, to shift more blue than it already is.
More accurately, “Communist-loving Sanders threatens to back Manchin, Sinema Primary challengers”. Can’t have any centrists in the Sanders-AOC Dem party that’s marching off the extreme left cliff, no siree.
what a commie pig.
If I was them, I would back senator burnedout’s primary opponent as well. I am sure he will get enough moderate dem and independent voters to easily overcome that.
Boinie must have forgotten which world he’s living in. It’s going to be a tough year for all Dems, if Boinie wants to join the list, “COME ON DOWN!!” It would be fun to see an all-out civil war in the Democrat Party break out!