McConnell says Manchin would feel 'a lot more comfortable on our side'
Manchin would give the GOP control of Senate with a slim 51-senator majority if he accepted McConnell's offer
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told Fox News Wednesday that Republicans would welcome Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., with open arms if he chose to switch parties, adding that he thinks the West Virginia Democrat would be "a lot more comfortable on our side."
"A good solution to his problem would be to come across the aisle and join us," McConnell said in an appearance on "America Reports." "He would be treated with respect and find himself in agreement with the party he was caucusing with most of the time."
Rumors of a Manchin party switch have rippled through Washington following his vow to vote down President Biden’s signature Build Back Better bill. If Manchin were to switch parties and become a Republican, it would give the GOP control of the Senate with a slim 51-senator majority.
MITCH MCCONNELL SAYS HE’D WELCOME MANCHIN TO THE GOP IF HE WAS SO ‘INCLINED’
"He gave the American people the Christmas gift they needed," McConnell said. "He killed this bill in its current form, which would have been really bad for America, exactly the wrong kind of prescription for the rampant inflation that we are suffering already."
Asked if he had spoken to the Democratic senator on the possibility of moving across the aisle, McConnell said, "He’s never indicated he is willing to do it."
"He’s been a lifelong Democrat. I don’t expect this to happen," he acknowledged. "But if it did, it would be a positive thing for him and the country because we still have moderates on the Republican side of the aisle."
As for what's holding Manchin back, the Kentucky Republican said, "This is a conversation we have had with him over the years."
"He is in a very red state…he is trying to exist in today’s Democratic Party which is very hard," McConnell said. "The Democratic Party today is the party of Bernie Sanders. They want to turn America into a socialist country. No wonder Joe Manchin is uncomfortable on the Democratic side of the aisle … he’d be a lot more comfortable on our side, but that’s a better question to ask him."
Shifting to next year's midterm elections, McConnell predicted a "dramatic" victory for the GOP.
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"We have a 50-50 Senate now. I think the environment for a midterm correction is going to be dramatic, and I think there is a great likelihood the House will flip and high likelihood the Senate will as well," he said.
"The good thing about that for the American people is that will ensure that President Biden for the last two years of his term is indeed the moderate he claimed to be when he ran for president."