West Virginia AG Calls on Manchin to Resign From Schumer Leadership

Sen. Joe Manchin
Sen. Joe Manchin / Getty Images

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey on Tuesday sent a letter to Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) calling on him to resign from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D., N.Y.) leadership team.

Morrisey, a Republican, is running to unseat Manchin in West Virginia.

"I am writing to urge you to put West Virginia's interests and values first and resign immediately from Sen. Chuck Schumer's leadership team," Morrisey wrote.

Morrisey called out the Democratic leadership in the Senate for not having West Virginia's best interests in mind. He noted that Manchin supported Hillary Clinton for president after she declared her desire to put coal miners and the coal industry out of business.

"We're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business," Clinton said at a West Virginia town hall in March. Manchin continued to support Clinton's White House bid, a point that Morrisey highlighted in his letter.

"Many in West Virginia were extremely disappointed to see you support someone who wanted to sink our already fragile state economy," Morrisey wrote. "We were again disheartened when you accepted the position as Democratic policy and communications committee vice chairman on Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's leadership team."

In his letter, Morrisey listed examples of Schumer's "extreme positions" that he said are "outside the American mainstream" and vehemently disliked by West Virginians. The list included Schumer calling the National Rifle Association a "fringe group," as well as his support for cap-and-trade, Planned Parenthood and abortion, and Rep. Keith Ellison's bid (D., Minn.) to become chair of the Democratic National Committee. Morrisey also noted Schumer's comments calling President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord a "devastating failure of historic proportions."

Morrisey, who has aligned himself with Trump, pointed out that West Virginia has "proudly" given Trump the highest approval rating in the country. A recent Gallup poll showed West Virginia holds a 60 percent approval rating of Trump.

Morrisey is the first Republican to hold the position of attorney general in West Virginia for 80 years. He will have to face Rep. Evan Jenkins in the primary before running against Manchin.