The Jan. 6 Capitol assault was a turning point for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), he told CNN on Thursday.
The riot "changed me," he said, adding that he never thought he would witness "our seat of government" under attack "by our own people." After the assault, Manchin said he felt an urge to "hit the pause button," because "something's wrong. You can't have this many people split to where they want to go to war with each other."
With the assault changing how he looks at Washington and the divide between Democrats and Republicans, Manchin said he has never been more passionate about ensuring Democrats and Republicans engage in serious negotiations. He is a moderate Democrat, and wields a lot of power now that the Senate is split 50-50 and President Biden's plans needs every Democratic vote.
"I've watched people that had power and abused it," Manchin told CNN. "I've watched people that sought power and destroyed themselves, and I've watched people that have a moment of time to make a difference and change things and used it — I would like to be that third." He emphasized that there is "a time and a place" to use reconciliation, and he won't be "killing the filibuster." Read more of Manchin's interview at CNN.