April 8, 2021

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. Catherine Garcia

March 1, 2021

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) sees a way Republicans can win back the House, Senate, and White House: Ditch former President Donald Trump.

During an appearance Sunday on CNN's State of the Union, Cassidy warned his party that if it does not shift its focus to the issues, GOP candidates will lose in upcoming elections. "Political campaigns are about winning," Cassidy said. "Our agenda does not move forward unless we win. We need a candidate who can not only win himself or herself, but we also have to have someone who lifts all boats. And that's clearly not happened over the last four years."

Cassidy — one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol — does not think Trump will be the 2024 GOP presidential nominee. He said Republicans need to connect with voters on "those issues that are important to the American people" if they want to win the 2022 midterms and 2024 presidential election, not worry about "putting one person on a pedestal and making that one person our focal point. If we idolize one person, we will lose. And that's kind of clear from the last election." Catherine Garcia

February 16, 2021

Former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) is considering running against Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) in 2022, filing campaign paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Monday night.

In January's runoff elections, Perdue lost his seat to Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), while Warnock defeated former Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), the appointed replacement for Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), who resigned in late 2019 due to health issues. Warnock is finishing out the rest of Isakson's term, and will be able to run for a full six-year term in 2022.

A senior adviser told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday that Perdue is "leaning heavily toward" challenging Warnock. He will make a decision by March 1, the adviser said, and will announce in April.

Warnock, the senior pastor at historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, solidly defeated Loeffler by 93,000 votes. Loeffler and former Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) are mulling entering the 2022 race, the Journal-Constitution reports, but they won't make any decisions until they know what Perdue is planning. Other Republicans considering a run include Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and former U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg Randy Evans. Catherine Garcia

September 3, 2019

On Monday night, aides to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) were working down to the wire, preparing two very different drafts for a speech he plans on making Tuesday morning.

Manchin intends to announce whether he will remain in the Senate, or run for governor in West Virginia, CBS News reports. Manchin, who served two terms as governor before joining the Senate in 2010, won re-election last year. He's been highly critical of the state's current governor, Republican Jim Justice, who was elected as a Democrat but changed parties two years ago at President Trump's insistence. In 2018, Justice also fired Manchin's wife, Gayle, from her position with the state's Department of Education and the Arts.

On Face the Nation last month, Manchin said he's received "a lot of inquiries" from people in West Virginia who "want me to come back home." He is one of the Senate's more conservative Democrats, and joined Republicans in voting for Trump's Supreme Court nominees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Catherine Garcia

August 28, 2019

Mississippi's Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves won the Republican nomination for governor on Tuesday night, defeating retired Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. in a primary runoff.

Reeves will face off against the Democratic nominee, state Attorney General Jim Hood, in November's general election. Reeves told supporters at his victory party that Hood is a "liberal Democrat," and will "tell you that welfare and Washington are the only things we need."

In response, Hood said Reeves ran a "negative campaign. The reason he didn't talk about the issues is because he doesn't have any." In comparison, Waller ran a "gentlemanly race," Hood said, and he is hopeful some of his supporters will back him in the general election. If Hood wins in November, he will be the first Democratic governor to lead the state since 2003. Catherine Garcia

January 22, 2019

In an affidavit filed as part of her divorce proceedings, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said that in July 2016, she was interviewed to be then-candidate Donald Trump's vice president, but turned down his offer because it "wasn't the right thing for me or my family."

Last August, Ernst announced she was divorcing her husband of 26 years, Gail Ernst. Their divorce was finalized this month, and under Iowa law, the court records were automatically made public. In the affidavit, which was submitted in October, Ernst said her former husband was not only verbally and mentally abusive, but also physically assaulted her when she confronted him about his relationship with their daughter's babysitter, The Des Moines Register reports.

Gail Ernst was "very cruel," the senator said, and often belittled her and didn't want to see her succeed. When describing how she turned down the offer to be vice president, she said she "continued to make sacrifices and not soar out of concern for Gail and our family." Ernst is the first woman elected in Iowa to represent the state in Congress, and has said she'll run for a second term in 2020. Catherine Garcia

November 20, 2018

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) announced on Tuesday she will not challenge Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for the role of speaker of the House and is offering her endorsement.

"I now join my colleagues in support of the leadership team of Pelosi, [Rep. Steny] Hoyer, and [Rep. James] Clyburn," she said in a statement. Pelosi, Hoyer, and Clyburn are the three highest-ranking Democrats.

Fudge said she was concerned about "voter protection and voter integrity," and the Democratic Party "should reflect the diversity of our changing nation and guarantee all our citizens the unfettered right to vote and to have every vote count." Pelosi, she said, has "assured me that the most loyal voting bloc in the Democratic Party, black women, will have a seat at the decision-making table" and "protections of the Voting Rights Act will be reinstated and improved."

Last week, 16 Democrats signed a letter saying they will oppose Pelosi for speaker. So far, no challengers have emerged, with House Democrats set to vote to select a nominee next week. Catherine Garcia

October 28, 2018

Billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer on Sunday condemned a now-deleted tweet by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), which he believes was probably anti-Semitic.

On Tuesday, McCarthy posted a tweet targeting Steyer and two other wealthy Jewish donors to liberal causes: George Soros and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "We cannot allow Soros, Steyer, and Bloomberg to BUY this election!" McCarthy tweeted. "Get out and vote Republican November 6th. #MAGA." McCarthy deleted the tweet on Wednesday.

Last week, explosive devices were mailed to both Soros and Steyer, and on Saturday, 11 people were killed by a gunman inside their Pittsburgh synagogue. Steyer told CNN that McCarthy's tweet "seems, to me, like a straight-up anti-Semitic move." It was a "classic attempt to separate Americans," he added. "I think that absolutely falls into the category of what I'm describing as political violence." McCarthy's office said he is against violence, and the tweet "simply points out the enormous financial contributions a select few have made in this year's midterm campaigns."

Steyer said he does not blame Trump for Saturday's shooting, "but I'm absolutely associating and blaming him for creating the atmosphere that exists." In response, Trump tweeted that Steyer was "Wacky" and "a crazed & stumbling lunatic." Catherine Garcia

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