CHARLESTON –U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is coming to West Virginia next month for a Democratic fundraiser.
But a Republican seeking to take Sen. Joe Manchin’s seat in next year’s election said the New York senator might want to think twice before he shows up for the Nov. 3 event.
“Chuck Schumer and his liberal anti-Trump agenda are not welcome here in West Virginia,” Congressman Evan Jenkins said.
Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, will be the keynote speaker at the West Virginia Democratic Party’s Roosevelt-Kennedy Annual Dinner at the Charleston Civic Center.
“The senator (Schumer) has always been a stalwart champion for America’s working families, and that’s why West Virginia Democrats are so excited to see him speak,” state Democratic Party Chairwoman Belinda Biafore said.
“It is disappointing that Senator Manchin has chosen to sell out the people he represents just to raise money for his re-election campaign,” Jenkins said. “After working in vain to defeat Donald Trump and elect Hillary Clinton in 2016, Manchin has spent this year serving as a top lieutenant to the Senate’s most powerful anti-gun, pro-abortion, anti-Trump liberal, and now Schumer is coming to West Virginia to prop up his campaign.
“I am working with the president to help him Make America Great Again and to help West Virginia recover from the Obama-Clinton-Manchin era, but Chuck Schumer – with Manchin’s help – are standing in the way.”
Jenkins said he thinks it’s time for Manchin to do the right thing. “Disavow Schumer’s support, rescind his invitation to West Virginia, and stop helping elitist New York liberals block our president’s America First agenda.”
“Sadly, we know he won’t – but I will, and that’s why I’m running for the United States Senate,” Jenkins said.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who also is seeking Manchin's Senate seat, took to Twitter to comment about Schumer's visit.
"Liberal @SenSchumer is coming to WV to try to save Manchin," Morrisey tweeted. "Schumer's values are not WV values, yet Manchin's on his leadership team!"
Morrisey's campaign spokeswoman also spoke out about Manchin and Jenkins.
"Joe Manchin can't have it both ways," said Nachama Soloveichik. "He can't pretend to be a voice for West Virginia when he's a lackey for Chuck Schumer who wants to kill coal jobs, restrict gun rights and support abortion.
“That said, it's hilarious that Evan Jenkins thinks Republicans won’t remember that he was supporting Hillary Clinton and the same liberal policies as Senator Manchin not that long ago. There is only one true conservative who fights for West Virginia values in this Senate race, and that’s Patrick Morrisey.”
In August, Morrisey sent a letter to Manchin asking him to resign from Schumer's Senate leadership team. Manchin's response then was blunt.
“I don’t give a shit, you understand?” Manchin told a Charleston Gazette-Mail reporter when asked about Morrisey’s request. “I just don’t give a shit. Don’t care if I get elected, don’t care if I get defeated, how about that?
“If they think because I’m up for election, that I can be wrangled into voting for shit that I don’t like and can’t explain, they’re all crazy.
“I’m not scared of an election, let’s put it that way. Elections do not bother me or scare me. I’m going to continue to do the same thing I’ve always done, extremely independent.”
West Virginia Republican Party Chairman Conrad Lucas said Manchin doesn't understand his constituency.
"It's completely unsurprising that the last gasp of the West Virginia Democrat Party features a visit by Chuck Schumer to this year's Hillary-Obama Dinner," Lucas said. "It's just another sign how out of touch Joe Manchin and his crew of liberals are from our state and it's shared values of coal, strong borders, babies and freedom.
"The Schumer Team has enlisted Manchin in their War On Coal and insists on endangering Americans with a policy of open borders. This sad and low-energy approach will not make West Virginia great again. We look forward to defeating Manchin next year with our conservative nominee."
National Republican Senatorial Committee Spokesman Bob Salera said he doesn’t think having Schumer here will benefit Manchin.
“Joe Manchin has had no problem taking his marching orders from New York liberal Chuck Schumer, so it should be no surprise if he welcomes the Minority Leader to West Virginia next month,” Salera said. “Perhaps Schumer and Manchin can jointly explain why they are working to block key elements of President Trump’s agenda like the border wall and defunding sanctuary cities.”
Manchin's campaign did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
In addition to Jenkins and Morrisey, former coal miner Bo Copley has announced plans to run as Republicans for the Senate seat currently occupied by Manchin for the 2018 election. Manchin will face primary competition from environmental activist Paula Jean Swearengin, who already has been endorsed by the Brand New Congress political action committee formed by former staff members and supporters of Bernie Sanders. Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship also has hinted as running as a Republican or an Independent.