Manchin: Obama not friendly enough with senators

December 22, 2013
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) ( Joshua Roberts/Reuters.)
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) ( Joshua Roberts/Reuters.)

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Sunday that President Obama's failure to craft relationships with senators has made passing legislation more difficult.

Obama's outreach to Capitol Hill has often been the subject of debate, with many Democrats saying privately that the White House falls short in that regard.

Manchin said on CNN's "State of the Union" that everyone has their own style, and Obama can't be the same gregarious character that Bill Clinton was as president. But he also said Obama isn't doing himself any favors when it comes to his agenda.

"It makes it more difficult," Manchin said. "It's hard to say no to a friend. When you build that relationship and that friendship, you're looking for ways to try to work things out and find a compromise. That friendship means an awful lot. When you don't build those personal relationships, it's pretty easy for a person to say, 'Well, let me think about it.'"

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · December 22, 2013