Donald Trump blasted U.S. Senator Joe Manchin in a speech at the Conservative Party Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday, vowing to oppose Democrats in West Virginia who he claimed to “destroy” the state’s deal by signing the Democrats’ budget and climate deals.
“I’m going all out against him,” Mr. Trump drew a round of applause in the biggest round of applause of the night.
The former president also claimed that Manchin, who won’t be re-elected until 2025, has promised not to vote against him in the impeachment process.
“I would never vote against you, you are a great president,” Trump recalled the senator saying.
Mr. Manchin voted against Mr. Trump during both impeachments.
independent Mr Manchin has been contacted for comment.
Trump also went after another moderate, Kyrsten Sinema, who was seen as a potential obstacle to Democrats’ social spending plans. In his speech, he hinted that he might also attack her in her hometown.
“What happened to Manchin and Sinema?” Mr Trump said. “What happened? We’re trying to figure out what happened. Where did this new philosophy come out of nowhere?”
independent Contact the Arizona Senator for comment.
But the former president didn’t just attack Democrats.
He also sharply criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, calling him an “old, broken crow” who was “free-rider” by Democrats during the passage of a bipartisan infrastructure deal in 2021.
Mr. Trump said he warned Senate leaders that Democrats would continue to seek more social spending and tax increases, even as parts of the Democrats’ so-called “build back better” agenda were separated from the infrastructure deal in order to pass.
“McConnell is the most unpopular politician in this country, even more so than crazy Nancy Pelosi,” Mr Trump said. “Something has to be done. He’s raising a lot of campaign donations for senators. That’s how he holds power.”
independent Mr McConnell has been contacted for comment.
In his CPAC speech, Mr. Trump also celebrated the results of a poll at the conference that showed him the overwhelming favorite among attendees for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination.
“I damn better win that poll,” he said with a laugh, describing when he learned of the results.
“When you look at the numbers, there’s a very sense of unity, not only in CPAC, but also in the Republican Party.”
The president again teased the 2024 campaign, telling the crowd “we might have to do it again,” but didn’t announce an official comeback.