In a rare bipartisan move on Thursday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) broke with his party and crossed the aisle to endorse his colleague, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), for re-election in 2020, The Hill reported.
While filming a segment for the C-SPAN program “Newsmakers,” Manchin announced that he would be supporting Collins in her re-election efforts, breaking from his party in a divisive Senate.
Manchin went so far as to offer to campaign for Collins in her bid for re-election as well. Collins has not formally announced her intention to run for re-election as of yet, although it is expected that she will.
The odd move is a departure from the increasingly contentious Senate but makes sense for the two senators, as they have worked together in the past and are known for breaking with their parties on some issues.
Collins is considered a target by the Democrats in their efforts to retake control of the Senate, due in part to her support for the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.
The Maine senator delivered a speech before Kavanaugh’s confirmation detailing the reasons for her support, ending the speech by saying:
“Mr. President, we’ve heard a lot of charges and counter charges about Judge Kavanaugh. But as those who have known him best have attested, he has been an exemplary public servant, judge, teacher, coach, husband, and father.
Despite the turbulent, bitter fight surrounding his nomination, my fervent hope is that Brett Kavanaugh will work to lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court so that we have far fewer 5-4 decisions and so that public confidence in our Judiciary and our highest court is restored.”
Collins is one of two female Republican senators currently serving. The other, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), opposed Kavanaugh’s nomination but withdrew her vote.
Manchin’s interview will air Friday at 10 p.m. ET and again Sunday at 10 a.m. ET.