The Hill - October 31, 2019

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he would not back Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a 2020 presidential match-up against President Trump

Manchin told Fox News he would “absolutely not” support Sanders’ agenda, calling it “not practical where I come from.”

When Fox News’s Neil Cavuto asked whom Manchin would vote for if the Vermont progressive ended up becoming the Democratic presidential nominee, Manchin responded, "Well, it wouldn’t be Bernie.”

Cavuto then pressed the West Virginia senator on if he’d vote for Trump. 

Manchin declined to offer a specific response, stating: “Let’s just say I’m going to make decisions based on what’s best for my country and my state.”

Manchin represents a state that Trump won in the 2016 race for the White House by 40 percentage points.

The West Virginia senator endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton that year but later said he regretted doing so given her critical remarks about the coal industry.

Manchin was also on the fence in the 2012 presidential election between President Obama and then-GOP nominee Mitt Ronney, who is now a colleague of Manchin's as a senator from Utah.

During the interview with Cavuto, Manchin was critical of the "Medicare for All" plan championed by Sanders.

“Bernie keeps saying ‘Medicare for All,’” he said. “I said, 'Bernie we can’t even pay for Medicare for some.'”

The West Virginia Democrat did acknowledge that Sanders’s policies are thought-provoking and get “the blood going and stirring and everything.”

Manchin's response comes after Sanders said in an interview with CNBC that he was confident Manchin, along with Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), would support his agenda.

"Damn right they will," Sanders said in the interview.