Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., declared Thursday the United States is a “center-right country” on Thursday in remarks that further raised hackles on the progressive left.

Manchin told CNN that President Joe Biden could, as Rep. Abigail Spanger, D-Va., said, fulfill the mission voters elected him to do: “Be normal and stop the chaos.” 

“I think he can do that,” he said. “I believe in President Biden. I still do. He’s a good person. He’s here for the right reason … We have to work together. We can’t go too far left. This is not a center-left or a left country. We are a center, if anything, a little center-right country. That’s being shown, and we ought to be able to recognize that. And all my friends on the left are progressive or liberals, whatever. I said I’m not, I always say that I’m a responsible West Virginia Democrat, and I’m fiscally responsible and socially compassionate.”

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) delivers remarks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S. November 1, 2021.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) delivers remarks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S. November 1, 2021.
(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

He added he empathized with the people “on the far left and the far right,” calling them “aspirational.” Manchin, reviled on the left for not leaping on board with Biden’s Build Back Better plan, added West Virginians are “scared to death” by rising costs of basic goods like gasoline, food, and utilities.

MANCHIN CALLS ELECTION RESULTS A ‘WAKE-UP CALL,’ REACTS TO IMPACT ON BIDEN AGENDA

Biden and the Democratic Party took a bruising loss this week in Virginia, when Republican Glenn Youngkin was elected governor and swept in GOP control of a state that Biden carried by 10 points over Donald Trump. The victory was seen as a rebuke of Biden’s progressive agenda amid concerns about the economy and schools.

Manchin told Fox News’ Bret Baier this week the results were a “wake-up call” and a reminder the U.S. is a divided country.

Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin speaks during his election night party at a hotel in Chantilly, Virginia, U.S., November 3, 2021.

Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin speaks during his election night party at a hotel in Chantilly, Virginia, U.S., November 3, 2021.
(REUTERS/ Jonathan Ernst)

The moderate Democrat has infuriated liberals in Congress over his opposition to Biden’s ambitious spending plan and social overhaul, citing its near $2-trillion price tag and possible economic impact in a time where Americans are already grappling with inflation. 

Manchin occupies a unique space in Congress, as a Democrat representing a state Trump won in landslides in 2016 and 2020. But progressives already frustrated with Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., fumed over his remarks on CNN.

CORI BUSH: MANCHIN OPPOSITION TO BUILD BACK BETTER IS ‘ANTI-BLACK’

“We are a center-left country where conservatives are boosted by electoral welfare,” former Harry Reid staffer Adam Jentleson tweeted.

To the chagrin of some liberal journalists, Manchin said Monday that he and other moderates remained unconvinced on Biden’s plan because its proponents had failed to explain the price.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the authorization of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11, during a speech in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building’s South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 3, 2021.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the authorization of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11, during a speech in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building’s South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 3, 2021.
(REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo)

“Simply put, I will not support a bill that is this consequential without thoroughly understanding the impact that it will have on our national debt, our economy, and most importantly, all of our American people,” Manchin said Monday.

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Fox News’ Cortney O’Brien contributed to this report.



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