Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is weighing in on the reignited flag-burning debate, vowing Tuesday to “beat the hell out of” anyone who burns Old Glory in front of him.
The West Virginia Democrat, who is rumored to be considering a switch to the Republican Party, reportedly made the comment on Tuesday.
“It’s a first amendment right but you do it in front of me, I’m going to beat the hell out of you,” Roll Call reporter Bridget Bowman quoted Manchin as saying.
Dem. Sen. Joe Manchin on flag burning: "It's a first amendment right but you do it in front of me, I'm going to beat the hell out of you"
— Bridget Bowman (@bridgetbhc) November 29, 2016
Rumors started swirling on Election Night that Manchin was considering switching parties, but on the very next day, Manchin flatly denied them.
“That’s what goes on in Washington and I guess New York and the pundits,” Manchin told WSAZ-TV in Charleston, West Virginia. “I thought they had enough drama last night they didn’t need to bring me into it, but I heard they did, and they started calling me, and I said ‘no way.'”
Manchin added: “I’m a West Virginia Democrat. I’m not a Washington Democrat. We’re a little different. I don’t subscribe to all of this very liberal, extreme liberal — I’m a centrist, moderate conservative Democrat.”