At a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor today, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine admitted that he was “not wild” about Gov. Joe Manchin’s new ad, where he bashes Obamacare and shoots the cap-and-trade bill (touting his NRA endorsement, of course).
“The part that I most don’t like is, you know, fixing what’s bad about ‘Obamacare.’ He had two Democratic senators, very good senators, who voted for that bill and they both voted for it because it probably has as much to offer the residents of West Virginia as virtually any state, if you look at health stats and things like that,” said Kaine, according to Politico.
But he also said that Manchin was “a hell of a shot,” and added that he thought he would be “a fine U.S. senator.”
The West Virginia senate race is currently considered tied by RealClearPolitics poll aggregator. Republican John Raese has pledged to work to repeal the entire Obamacare program. Sixty-three percent of West Virginia likely voters would like it repealed, with only 27 percent opposing repeal, according to a Fox News poll.
But the more rightward Manchin becomes, the more he risks inflating support for Mountain party candidate Jesse Johnson, who is backed by 5 percent of voters, according to the Time/CNN poll — the only recent poll to mention Johnson by name. (Rasmussen’s latest poll shows that 2 percent of voters prefer a candidate other than Manchin or Raese.) The Mountain party’s draft platform includes advocating issues such as “clean air, water and land; responsible mining and logging practices; economic fairness, including an end to corporate welfare; small community schools and limits on busing; universal health care and campaign finance reform,” according to their website.
Manchin’s ad was part of his rightward shift in recent weeks, which has included coming out for partial repeal of President Obama’s health-care bill and even beginning to call the bill Obamacare.