House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that multiple elected Democrats could switch parties and join the GOP, during a discussion about West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin.
The California Republican told Fox News on Monday: “Remember, we had an individual reregister from Democrat to Republican, and I think there are a few other Democrats out there that are thinking about it.”
The congressman was referring to Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., who switched parties in 2020 following his election two years before.
“Why? Not because they changed, but the party has changed,” McCarthy said. “The Democrat Party is no longer the Democrat Party of old. This is a socialist Democrat Party. [Vermont independent Sen.] Bernie Sanders says it, [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.,] and others. And that is out of step with the mainstream of America. That is their problem — they are letting that wing of the socialist wing of the party dictate their policy, dictate the intimidation. Lucky for us, Joe Manchin stood up to it.”
He added that Manchin’s recent announcement about his opposition to the Build Back Better plan “was surprising but if you listen to Joe Manchin, one thing about him, he has been exactly and consistently honest all the way through. He said he would and even signed an agreement he would not go higher than the $1.8 trillion.”
McCarthy said, “For those who thought they would intimidate Joe Manchin in West Virginia, they ought to look again. Joe Manchin is more popular in West Virginia today because of what he said yesterday. And they are not going to intimidate him. More people will stand with him in West Virginia.”