CNN host lashes out at Joe Manchin over opposition to Build Back Better bill: 'One man's vote'

'Congress seems to be controlled by the decisions of one man an awful lot,' Laura Coates complains

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Liberal CNN host Laura Coates lashed out Monday at Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., railing against his decision to oppose President Biden's keystone Build Back Better legislation. 

While guest-hosting "Don Lemon Tonight," Coates slammed Manchin for "derailing" the bill with his announcement on "Fox News Sunday" that he would not be voting for it, and claimed that the moderate Democrat's vote counted more than other members of Congress. 

"For a country founded on the refusal to have our lives ruled by a king, Congress seems to be controlled by the decisions of one man an awful lot," Coates said. "Take the Build Back Better agenda, heralded as a cornerstone of the Biden-Harris administration. For months Democrats have tried in vain to persuade Senator Joe Manchin to vote for the legislation."

CNN's Laura Coates rails against Sen. Joe Manchin's, D-W.Va., opposition to the Build Back Better bill. December 20, 2021 (Screenshot/CNN)

CNN's Laura Coates rails against Sen. Joe Manchin's, D-W.Va., opposition to the Build Back Better bill. December 20, 2021 (Screenshot/CNN)

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"The president has wined and dined him and staked his reputation as the consummate Senate negotiator on his ability to lead the horse to water and make him drink. But in the end, Senator Manchin would not budge, steadfast in his resolve to do what he claims is in the best interest of West Virginia," she added.

Coates played an audio clip of Manchin defending his decision to oppose the bill to a local West Virginia radio outlet and explaining that he wasn't going to be bullied into submission. 

"And just like that, one man’s vote derails the bill. If only everyone’s vote counted as much as that of Senator Manchin, especially in the face of relentless attacks on voting rights that make a mockery of one person, one vote," Coates said after the clip. 

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks at a press conference outside his office on Capitol Hill on October 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. 

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks at a press conference outside his office on Capitol Hill on October 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

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"But one man’s refusal to even entertain altering the filibuster to fortify voting rights again illustrates the point. Even the act of protecting your access to the polls to vote in whatever way you choose seems to come down to just one man," she added. "The same man. The one who gets paid leave, paid for by taxpayers, as a United States Senator, but doesn’t think it should be extended to you in the same way. One man’s vote."

Coates lamented what she believed was the constant waiting to see how one individual's decision, whether it be in the Senate, on the Supreme Court, or a Vice President's tie-breaking vote, would impact everyone's lives, freedoms and American democracy.

"Our Declaration of Independence begins with, 'We the people,' not ‘I’ the individual. But here we are, still waiting for one person to decide how the rest of us shall live," Coates said. 

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 767 -- Pictured: (l-r) Journalist Mehdi Hasan during an interview with host Seth Meyers on December 5, 2018 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 767 -- Pictured: (l-r) Journalist Mehdi Hasan during an interview with host Seth Meyers on December 5, 2018 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images) (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

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Coates' focus on Manchin alone mirrored a panned Associated Press article last week that framed him as the "single Senator" blocking Biden and largely downplayed all 50 Senate Republicans also in opposition. If Manchin alone in the Senate were opposed to Biden's bill, it would pass with a whopping 99 votes.

Coates joins a throng of other liberal media figures losing it over Manchin's decision not to back the massive spending bill, such as The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin, who claimed his no vote would mean democracy was "hanging by a thread," and MSNBC's Mehdi Hasan, who suggested Manchin may have killed the future of American democracy.