NY Times columnist: Manchin more in touch with West Virginia than 'coastal pundits like me'

Moderate Democat facing liberal furor for opposition to Build Back Better

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New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg appeared to recognize Monday that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin may be more in touch with his state’s priorities than other "coastal pundits."

Goldberg was featured on MSNBC’s "The ReidOut" with guest host Jonathan Capehart to discuss Manchin’s announcement on "Fox News Sunday" that he would be a "no" vote for President Biden’s Build Back Better plan.

Sen. Joe Manchin talks to reporters on Capitol Hill on Jan. 19, 2018.

Sen. Joe Manchin talks to reporters on Capitol Hill on Jan. 19, 2018. (REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

After Manchin’s appearance, Democrats and liberal media members raged against the moderate politician, including Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.

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"Well, yes, I mean, they're absolutely right to feel betrayed," Goldberg said.

She added, "Look, I think that Joe Manchin has all of the leverage here. It’s not fair. It’s not right. It’s not really democratic, given the small size of the state that he represents, but it is what it is."

Capehart then brought up Manchin’s reported concerns over the Build Back Better plan’s inclusion of a child tax credit that he feared would be misused by abusive households. Goldberg criticized this concern but admitted Manchin is "more in tune" with the people in his state than her.

Sen. Joe Manchin gets into a car as he leaves the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 15, 2021.

Sen. Joe Manchin gets into a car as he leaves the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 15, 2021. (REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz)

"Look, OK, so, on the one hand, I think Joe Manchin is in fact kind of more in tune with the ethos of his state, obviously, than coastal pundits like me," Goldberg said. "At the same time, there’s something profoundly out of touch about a man who drives a Maserati acting as if people who get – and there’s already been studies of what people who are – of what people are spending this money on. They’re spending it on the basics. They’re spending it on food. They’re spending it on housing. They’re spending it on utilities, right?"

Sen. Joe Manchin speaks at a press conference outside his office on Capitol Hill on Oct. 6, 2021 in Washington.

Sen. Joe Manchin speaks at a press conference outside his office on Capitol Hill on Oct. 6, 2021 in Washington. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

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Various liberal pundits and politicians, including the White House, have since criticized Manchin’s decision to vote "no" on the Build Back Better plan.

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