Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is backing Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski’s re-election campaign, which has yet to officially launch.
Manchin told POLITICO’s Playbook Deep Dive podcast that he will support Murkowski’s 2022 reelection campaign “in a heartbeat.”
The West Virginia senator said of Murkowski, “I’ve met a lot of good people in Alaska, they know when they’ve got the real deal. And they see the person that basically is bringing both sides together, trying to look for the best interest.”
“People understand that they have a person that understands Alaska and has Alaska in her blood and in every part of her veins and every morsel of her body,” he added.
The senators’ bipartisan relationship goes back years and each of them has visited the other’s home state.
“I would welcome his endorsement,” Murkowski said.
Manchin has backed moderate Republican candidates before, as he supported friend and Senator Susan Collins (R.,Maine) in her 2020 reelection race.”I don’t think we should be campaigning against any colleagues, Democrat or Republican,” Manchin commented.
Murkowski said she hoped the creation of G20 alliance, a bipartisan group in Congress comprising 20 members, would reduce hyper partisanship in the chamber and normalize reaching across the aisle.
“I would like to think that we’re the resurgence, that it’s kind of lonely right now. But why wouldn’t we want to encourage greater collaboration and cooperation among our colleagues,” said Murkowski.
“I get weary of of of that energy that is focused on the dirty, unproductive process.”
Manchin admitted his Democratic counterparts were skeptical of his GOP endorsements. His support for Murkowski comes after the Alaska senator voted to convict former President Donald Trump of inciting a capitol riot in January’s impeachment proceedings.
Trump has since promised to fight Murkowski’s re-election efforts and has already backed Kelly Tshibaka to challenge her bid. Murkowski won a write-in campaign after she lost her primary in 2010.