Liberal pundits react to Manchin's 'no' on Build Back Better: 'A lot to process'

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Sen. Joe Manchin: ‘I cannot vote’ for Build Back Better amid ‘real’ inflation

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., explains why he ‘cannot vote’ for the ‘mammoth legislation,’ noting that he’s had reservations since he first heard about it.

Liberal media are reacting to Sen. Joe Manchin’s, D-W.Va., announcement that he’s a conclusive “no” on President Biden’s Build Back Better plan.

“I’ve always said this, Bret: if I can’t go home and explain to the people of West Virginia I can’t vote for it,” Manchin told “Fox News Sunday” guest host Bret Baier Sunday. “And I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t. I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there.”

“You’re done? This is a no?” Baier replied.

“This is a no on this piece of legislation,” Manchin said. “I have tried everything I know to do.”

The senator said that the rise in inflation, the national debt and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic helped him come to his decision on the massive social spending bill.

Sen. Joe Manchin closes the door of an elevator after a Democratic policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Dec. 16, 2021.
(REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz)

“My Democratic colleagues in Washington are determined to dramatically reshape our society in a way that leaves our country even more vulnerable to the threats we face,” Manchin said in a statement following his announcement. “I cannot take that risk.”

A couple of Manchin’s colleagues took turns ripping him on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., started by accusing Manchin of lacking the courage to stand up to pharmaceutical companies, and an outraged Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., said the West Virginia senator was obstructing the president’s agenda. 

Several media pundits failed to hide their disappointment as well.  

“A lot to process on the Manchin news but, from a substantive standpoint, it’s just objectively devastating for the planet,” Politico’s Sam Stein tweeted. “The last best chance at climate change legislation is gone.”

Social media users noted Stein was acting more like a partisan than a journalist.

It was a similar story on Sunday morning news shows, as viewers who tuned in to ABC’s “This Week” heard audible sighs from the guests at the roundtable after Jonathan Karl announced the breaking news. Their reaction again raised questions about the press’ supposed objectivity. 

Kirsten Powers and Joe Manchin
(Getty Images)

But Sunday’s media reaction was no surprise to analysts who have been following the treatment of Manchin in the lead-up to his decision on Build Back Better. CNN analyst and former Democratic staffer Kirsten Powers told Manchin it would “be better off” if he left the Democratic Party last week. And ABC News raised eyebrows Friday after sharing an AP story republished on its site, tweeting, “A single senator is about to seriously set back an entire presidential agenda.”

President Joe Biden delivers remarks about his Build Back Better agenda from the East Room of the White House on Oct. 28, 2021.
(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.

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