Joe Manchin Still Taking Shots at White House

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin is the guy who got elected as a Democrat by running an ad that showed him shooting a copy of the Cap & Trade bill. Now, Manchin says the president is failing to lead on the budget.

Manchin charged the president with failing to lead the way in reducing spending, while also criticizing Republicans for offering “partisan” and “unrealistic” budget proposals.

The Democratic bill includes $6.5 billion in cuts and “utterly ignores our fiscal reality — our nation is badly in debt and spending at absolutely unsustainable and out-of-control levels,” he said. “We must turn our financial ship around, but the Senate proposal continues to sail forward as if there’s no storm on the horizon.”

Manchin runs again next year after completing the last two years of Robert Byrd's term.

Democratic leaders are having trouble just keeping moderates on board — Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) also have expressed skepticism that Democrats are willing to cut enough spending to satisfy voters and make a dent in the deficit.

And while Reid is watching his centrist Democrats stray, he also has to worry about liberals getting disenchanted by the race to cut more and more spending. “I’m willing to see more deficit reduction, but not out of domestic discretionary spending. I think we’ve pushed this to the limit,” Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.” Reid on Monday acknowledged that this week’s votes were purely symbolic. Neither plans have secured the 60 votes required to pass.