Lisa Murkowski Endorses Joe Manchin

( Two embattled senators crossed political lines recently to send each other endorsements for their upcoming re-election battles.

Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin signaled their support for each other’s re-election bids when they both appeared on the “State of the Union” program on CNN recently.

Both Murkowski and Manchin are considered centrist politicians, with both crossing the aisle to side with the opposite party in votes before. They are also both facing stiff challenges for re-election.

Manchin has drawn the ire of many Democrats in recent months for his unwillingness to work with liberals to force through the party’s massive Build Back Better social spending package.

Murkowski, meanwhile, has separated herself from former President Donald Trump and his supporters. She was one of the few GOP senators who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial.

Trump has since endorsed one of Murkowski’s challengers in the Republican primary in Alaska.

But, that isn’t stopping the two opposite-party senators from signaling their support for each other. As Manchin said of Murkowski:

“Alaska could only be so lucky to have her continue to serve them. It’s hypocritical to basically work with a person day-in and day-out, and then when they’re in cycle, you’re supposed to be against them because they have an R or D by their name.”

Murskowski’s campaign sent a statement to the media after Manchin’s endorsement, which read:

“We welcome Senator Manchin’s endorsement, and appreciate his support of Lisa’s re-election campaign. This endorsement proves that Lisa has earned the respect of her colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and reinforces that she will work with anyone from either party to advance Alaska’s priorities and deliver big wins for our state.”

Murkowski further explained that it used to be not that out of the ordinary for senators to cross party lines to endorse one of their Senate colleagues. It’s just not as commonplace now in a very divided country.

For her part, the Alaska senator said she’d throw her support behind Manchin if he were to run for re-election in 2024. He’s not up for re-election in this year’s midterms.

He only barely won the last time he ran in 2018, though, and it’s likely that his actions over the last year may prove to be his undoing if he does indeed decide to run again.

Murkowski faces a stiff re-election battle, though, and may not even get out of the primary. Alaska has a nonpartisan primary, with the four candidates who receive the most votes advancing to November’s general election.

Trump has said that Murkowski is “bad for Alaska,” and has already thrown his support behind challenger Kelly Tshibaka.

In explaining his endorsement, Trump said:

“[Tshibaka is a] fighter who stands for Alaska values and America First. She is MAGA all the way, pro-energy, strong on the Border, tough on Crime and totally supports our Military and our great Vets. Kelly is a powerful supporter of the Second Amendment and JOBS!”