Steve Bannon Thinks Republicans Can Persuade Joe Manchin To Switch Parties

Political operative Steve Bannon prepares to deliver remarks.
Gettyimages | Adrian Bretscher
US Politics

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has become a major obstacle for President Joe Biden, refusing to support some of the administration's key proposals.

Notably, Manchin has vowed to block Democrats' sweeping voting rights bill and strongly argued against abolishing the Senate filibuster.

According to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who briefly managed former President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, Republicans should persuade Manchin to switch parties.

This, Bannon noted, would allow the GOP to immediately take control of the upper chamber. 

Switching Parties

Speaking on Real America's Voice Monday, Bannon argued that Manchin "is not going to fold," despite pressure from Biden and other Democrats, per Raw Story.

The controversial political operative said that GOP lawmakers like Sen. Rick Scott of Florida should do their best to woo Manchin.

"I actually believe there should be a major effort led by guys like Rick Scott to bring Joe Manchin into the Republican Party right now. Bring him into the Republican Party, make sure that he's a welcome member of the Republican Party."

Senate

Bannon then echoed Trump's conspiracy theories about alleged voting fraud in the 2020 presidential election, questioning the legitimacy of the electoral process.

Bannon claimed that Democratic senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff of Georgia, as well as Mark Kelly of Arizona, ​could soon lose their seats, suggesting that concrete evidence of voting fraud might soon emerge.

The former Trump adviser pointed to "the whole legitimacy question because of the pounding, the pounding, the pounding of the 3 November movement to get to the bottom of this." 

Will Manchin Switch Parties? 

It remains unclear if Manchin -- a self-described moderate Democrat -- is now open to becoming a Republican, but he has previously shot down the suggestion.

In an interview with Vox this April, the West Virginia senator stressed hat he has never even entertained that possibility.

"I’ve never considered it from that standpoint because I know I can change more from where I’m at. And I still believe in the principles of the Democratic Party that I grew up with," he told the outlet.

Criticism

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin speaks to reporters.
Gettyimages | Sarah Silbiger

Some Democrats have criticized Manchin for refusing to support Biden and his colleagues' agenda.

In an interview on Monday, progressive New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman likened Manchin to Republican Mitch McConnell, who is the Senate minority leader.

Bowman argued that Manchin is deliberately obstructing Biden and doing to him what McConnell did to former President Barack Obama.

Democratic Party critics like Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Glenn Greenwald, meanwhile, have described Manchin as a convenient scapegoat for Democrats, who don't actually want enact progressive legislation or anger their corporate donors.