Feb. 6 (UPI) — Sens. Joe Manchin and Lisa Murkowski said Sunday they would endorse one another in their upcoming elections.
Manchin, D-W.Va., and Murkowski, R-Alaska, appeared together on CNN’s State of the Union in a rare show of election support across party lines.
“I’m endorsing my dear friend Lisa Murkowski. Alaska could only be so lucky to have her continue to serve them,” Manchin said, as Murkowski faces a primary challenge from Republican Kelly Tshibaka, a former Alaska Department of Administration commissioner who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
“It’s hypocritical to basically work with a person day-in and day-out, and then when they’re in cycle, you’re supposed to be against them because they have an R or D by their name.”
Murkowski has faced backlash from the party after she was among a handful of Republicans and independents who voted to impeach Trump in January for inciting the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.
The Alaska Republican State Central Committee formally endorsed Tshibaka in July, citing her impeachment vote.
Murkowski said she would also lend her endorsement to Manchin should he choose to seek re-election in 2024.
Manchin, who has also found himself at odds with his party as he has withheld his vote from several key pieces of legislation in President Joe Biden’s agenda including his signature Build Back Better plan, said he expects support from Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer despite the rift.
“No way, shape or form will (Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell or Chuck Schumer not support their caucus. It just doesn’t happen,” he said, adding he has spoken to Schumer “about that and everything” in recent days.
Manchin said he had also had recently spoken with Biden but said they did not discuss legislation.
“We’ve had a conversation but really didn’t get into that. Right now our main concern is get a budget,” he said