Democratic Senator Joe Manchin: People Just Don’t Believe Obama Cares


West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin told TIME Thursday that President Barack Obama has lost his emotional connection with the American people.

“There’s an old saying my grandmother would say, people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care,” he said in a phone interview. “And the President is bright and very articulate and speaks very well. People just don’t believe he cares. That’s the disconnect that I’m seeing.”

Manchin, one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress, could fill a key role next year as the Senate Republican majority tries to implement its agenda, including authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline and raising the Affordable Care Act’s workweek from 30 hours to 40 hours—two proposals that Manchin supports and believes have enough bipartisan support to reach 60 votes for passage. He called a Keystone vote a “slam-dunk,” and he considers the Obamacare fix crucial despite…

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