Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who joined his fellow Democratic colleagues in voting to oust President Donald Trump from office last week, is reportedly still open to supporting the president's re-election bid.
"I don't rule anything out. I really don't rule anything out," Manchin said in a recent interview with Politico. "I'm always going to be for what's best for my country. Everybody can change. Maybe the president will change, you know? Maybe that uniter will come out, versus the divider."
During the interview, Manchin recalled how in 2018 Trump attempted to use his bully pulpit to scuttle Manchin's re-election bid in West Virginia, a move that ultimately failed. Manchin said he forgave Trump a week later. Now, he's optimistic the president will return the favor.
"It's not different when he wanted to have lunch the week after I was elected. And he said: 'I knew we couldn't beat you.' And I said: 'It wasn't for lack of trying.' Boom, it's over, let it go. I did. I'm asking him to do the same thing I did," Manchin told Politico. "He tried to remove me."
It may take longer than a week for the president to come around, however. In the days following the impeachment vote, Trump has been lashing out at Manchin, calling him a "puppet" senator and "Joe Munchkin."
Manchin had remained undecided on impeachment until the very last minute before Trump's ultimate acquittal in the Senate last week. Many thought that Manchin, being a moderate from a deep-red state, would opt to acquit the president to save face with voters. He had even floated censure as a way to handle the matter in a bipartisan way in the lead-up to the vote.
But when it came time to vote, Manchin determined in no uncertain terms that Trump was, in fact, guilty of abusing his power and obstructing Congress and thus deserved to be ousted from office.
Now, Manchin is singing a much different tune, telling Politico he thinks Trump can still be a "tremendous president."