Sen. Joe Manchin Considered VA Spot After Ronny Jackson‘s Withdrawal

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was a possible candidate for Veteran Affairs secretary after former White House physician Ronny Jackson withdrew his name from consideration,

The White House courted Manchin in hopes of clearing the way for Republicans to win his seat in the deep-red state, concerned the conservative Democrat would get re-elected despite President Donald Trump’s high poll numbers in West Virginia, the Post reported.

Manchin is set to go up against West Virginia’s Republican attorney general Patrick Morrisey in November.

No formal offer was made to Manchin for the VA post, the Post reported, citing unnamed White House and congressional officials. Manchin told the Post he viewed the discussions as being about how to find the best person for the VA — not filling the spot himself.

But White House officials said they specifically asked Manchin about leading the VA and believed he was interested, the Post reported.

Several days of talks began after Jackson withdrew his nomination in late April; the Post reported Manchin backed out once he saw a poll suggesting he could win his race and heard from others that the job was too difficult.

Manchin has been one of the most sympathetic Democratic senators toward Trump, siding with him on some of his more controversial nominees, the Post noted.