Media Fret Over Joe Manchin’s Seat Location at State of the Union: He Sat With GOP!

The networks and CNN on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning renewed their obsession with Joe Manchin, fretting over how “weird” it was that the moderate Democrat sat with Republicans at the State of the Union. Her irritation is not hidden. CBS Mornings co-host Gayle King on Wednesday recounted, “He [Biden]He was speaking about the unity agenda. We saw Senator Manchin sitting with Republicans.” 

Talking to journalist Margaret Brennan, she complained, “Was it strange that he was seated with Republicans?” Brennan lamented, “When you have unified Democratic leadership, it has not looked very unified when it came to Democratic senators, specifically Joe Manchin.” 

There are more Good Morning America reporter Cecilia Vega noted Joe Biden’s stalled agenda: “He’s [Biden]Pushing for lower prescription drug and childcare costs, once part of his rebuild back better plan. However, some members of his party have blocked his efforts to do so. One of them senator Joe Manchin seen sitting with Republicans, his office calling it a show of bipartisanship.” 



In the early morning hours of Wednesday, CNN analyst Ron Brownstein continued the media complaining: “Joe Manchin, as we said, has singlehandedly derailed that agenda in the Senate and showing no signs of relenting.” During reaction coverage on ABC News Live, Tuesday, two journalists found the whole thing worthy of discussion: 

LINSEY DAVIS – Mary, can you tell us where Senator Manchin was seated that caught your eye? 

MARY BRUCE Joe Manchin, the senator from West Virginia and a major thorn in President Trump’s side has been able to sabotage much of the President’s agenda. 

Late NightLiberal hack Seth Meyers obsesses over Manchin. Although Democrats have control of everything, Seth Meyers is obsessed with Manchin. On Tuesday, he wasn’t specifically attacking the Democrat for sitting with Republicans, but for voting against abortion up to birth. 

Last night’s Senate failed to pass Women’s Health Protection Act. West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, however, voted for Republicans. How many times must someone vote for Republicans before they consider them a Republican? It’s like saying Keith Richards went to the Rolling Stones’ concert again.

Multiple media outlets downplay hateful and unhinged attacks on Manchin because he is a moderate. Clearly, this issue animated them a lot more in the last 12 hours than did Biden’s State of the Union speech. 

Progressive insurance sponsored CBS’s concern over Biden. It was CVS. To let ABC know your thoughts, click the links. 

These are excerpts of transcripts. Click “expand” to read more: 

Good Morning America 

CECILIA VEGA:  He’s [Biden]He is pushing to lower the cost of prescription medications and childcare. His build back plan was once a success but has been blocked by members of his own party. Joe Manchin, one of the senators seen seated with Republicans. His office calls it a display of bipartisanship.

CBS Mornings

GAYLE KING: [Biden]He was speaking about the unity agenda. The Vice President was seated with Senator Manchin. We asked the Vice President about it, she said, “Well, there’s no assigned seating. Anyone can sit anywhere.” Did that strike you as odd that he was sitting with Republicans? 

MARGARET BRENAN: Senator Manchin claimed that the purpose of this was to show the need 
For bipartisanship. John pointed out that there are differences within his own party. Even though the Democratic party has unified its leadership, there have been differences in how it treated Democratic senators. Joe Manchin was one example. 

CNN Newsroom Live
3:24 AM ET

ROBERT BROWNSTEIN: Democrats must improve in order to stand a chance. There were many good ideas presented by Biden tonight. I was particularly interested in the topic of how to help families cope with rising prices and inflation. There are many options, including lowering prescription drug and utility prices as well as increasing child care subsidies. Also, health premiums. Health care. Problem is, he does not have any clear plan to pass it. Joe Manchin has, as we stated, singlehandedly stalled that Senate agenda and shows no sign of coming back. It maybe that Biden’s best political strategy is move this goal from “What have you done for me lately” to an aspirational contrast with Republicans. They won’t be able to allow Manchin through the Senate and become law if they don’t. 

State of the Union Analysis

YASMIN VOSSOUGHIAN : There is some color inside the chamber. Joe Manchin actually was sitting beside Mitt Romney, you said. They wanted to demonstrate a strong bipartisanship. Some questions were raised about Joe Manchin’s participation on the Republican side. 

Late Night with Seth Meyers

12:00 AM ET 

SETH MEYERS. The Senate failed last night to pass Women’s Health Protection Act. West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, however, voted for Republicans. Ok, so how many times can someone vote with Republicans to be considered a Republican. It’s almost like saying Keith Richards was with the Rolling Stones once again.


ABC News Live

LINSEY DAVIS – Mary, can you tell us where Senator Manchin was seated that caught your eye? 

MARY BRUCE Joe Manchin (the Democratic senator from West Virginia, who has been a bit of a problem for the President and has blocked much of his agenda thus far), was sitting beside Senator Mitt Romney. According to his office, Manchin sat down there because he wanted to convey that bipartisanship in the U.S. Senate is alive and well, even though the president has failed to implement much of his agenda.

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