Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott, who used to lead the party's Senate campaign arm, is pushing back on recent Republican praise of West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, arguing it hurts the GOP's attempt to flip the Senate in 2024.
After Politico wrote about GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska, and Susan Collins, Maine, saying favorable things about Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.V., Scott tweeted that “any support for Joe hurts our chances of getting back a Republican majority in the Senate and is the exact opposite of what our donors and voters want.”
Murkowski, Collins and Manchin are very close, personally and professionally, and have worked together on various bipartisan efforts — particularly over the last two years. Murkowski told Politico she's already donated to Manchin's re-election, and Collins said that "should he choose to run again, I would anticipate endorsing him."
Their comments are not surprising, given that Manchin endorsed and donated to both Senators during their tough re-election campaigns in 2020 (Collins) and 2022 (Murkowski).
Manchin hasn’t yet indicated whether he is running for re-election to the Senate. But as he weighs his political future, Democrat-turned Republican governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice, is getting closer to announcing his own bid for Manchin’s Senate seat. This month Justice met with NRSC Chairman Steve Daines, R-Mont., in D.C., according to a source familiar with the meeting. The meeting was first reported by Politico.
This comes after NBC News reported last month the McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund commissioned a poll showing Justice as the only candidate who could beat Manchin in a general election. So far, Congressman Alex Mooney, R-W.V., is the only candidate officially in the race on the Republican side.