GOP Sen. Mike Lee says Manchin 'absolutely should leave the Democratic Party'

West Virginia is one of the country's most conservative states

Updated: October 25, 2021 - 11:33am

Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee is encouraging Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin to switch parties, amid the West Virginia lawmaker considering such as change. 

"There’s still plenty of time he can still switch parties if he wants to, I encourage him to do so," Lee said Sunday night on the Fox News Channel.

He also said Manchin needed to abandon the party of "inflation" and "lawlessness."

A news report last week said Manchin was considering such a change, as the moderate Democrat faces within his party, particularly from its progressive wing, over his resistance to approve a multi-trillion-dollar spending bill over such concerns as its cost and proposed new rules for fossil fuel industry. Manchin has acknowledged having had such a conversation.

In addition, West Virginia is one of the country's most conservative states, with 2020 GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump have won over 68% of the vote in the state in last year's unsuccessful reelection bid. 

"Joe Manchin absolutely should leave the Democratic Party, and I look forward to embracing him when he joins our caucus,” Lee also said on Fox. “What they see here is that they belittle him and intimidate him enough that somehow he relent. That’s of course, not going to happen. Joe Manchin ... represents the good people of West Virginia, including a whole lot of poor and middle class Americans who are finding that everything they buy from gas to groceries from housing to healthcare, is getting more expensive."