If Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) feels particularly outcast by the Build Back ire of his fellow Democrats, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and co. would "certainly" welcome the West Virginia lawmaker to their side of the aisle, McConnell told Fox's Guy Benson on Monday.
"He doesn't fit well over there," McConnell said of Manchin and his party affiliation, "but that is a decision ultimately that he has to make. We certainly welcome him to join us if he was so inclined."
McConnell also told Benson he was "shocked at the vitriol" in response to Manchin's now-infamous opposition to the current version of President Biden's Build Back Better legislation, which Democrats were hoping to pass before the end of the year.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
"Basically it seemed to me that they were calling Sen. Manchin a liar. I think that was not smart. This is a 50-50 Senate. It's going to be 50-50 for another year, and believe me, this is not how I would handle a disappointing vote like that," said the minority leader.
But don't get it twisted — he's certainly not upset at the thought of the president's bill continuing to languish on Capitol Hill.
"It was an exciting thing to hear," McConnell said of Manchin's opposition. "It was a great shot in the arm for the country. I think it's exactly what the country needed at this particular time."
And as for where things are headed following next year's "very significant" midterm elections, McConnell is feeling particularly optimistic about the GOP regaining control of Congress.
"We should, in all likelihood, flip both the House and the Senate to the Republican Party," McConnell predicted. Democrats are in "very, very tough shape, politically. I don't see how that gets much better," he said.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.