Sen. Joe Manchin couldn’t bear to watch Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s GOP-trashing floor speech Thursday night — covering his face and ultimately walking away during the comments.
The animated reaction came as Schumer was speaking before the Senate officially extended the government’s borrowing authority — and it was all captured by a CSPAN camera.
“Republicans played a dangerous and risky partisan game, and I am glad that their brinksmanship did not work,” Schumer began his remarks, with Manchin sitting behind him in view of the camera.
As Schumer cast blame on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP Senators, Manchin first appeared to shake his head then pressed his palms to his face in dismay.
“[Senate Minority] Leader [Mitch] McConnell and Senate Republicans insisted they wanted a solution to the debt ceiling — but said Democrats must raise it alone by going through a drawn out, convoluted, and risky reconciliation process,” Schumer said.
Less than a minute later, as Schumer continued targeting McConnell, Manchin was seen walking away.
Afterward, outside the chamber, Manchin condemned the speech.
“I didn’t think it was appropriate at this time,” Manchin told reporters.
“We have to de-weaponize. You can’t be playing politics. None of us can — on both sides,” Manchin said. “Civility is gone.”
No Republicans voted to approve the actual legislation raising the debt ceiling, but the party-line, 50-48 vote was a foregone conclusion after 11 GOPers voted to end debate on the measure minutes earlier.