BECKLEY, W.Va. —
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin believes it’s time to put political labels aside and focus on problems.
He has joined former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman as co-chairman of a bipartisan “No Labels” campaign.
The idea behind “No Labels” is to avoid extremism and cast partisanship aside to strive for real solutions to problems confronting the nation. “No Labels is the vehicle that has the opportunity for that to happen,” said Manchin, who is a Democrat.
The senator said he has never seen any effort, nor invited to forge a bipartisan caucus to discuss America’s shortcomings.
Manchin and Huntsman, a Republican, feel they can recruit enough members to swell their ranks to 75 or 80 by the end of the year. For instance, that number would exert sufficient influence to start seriously addressing the soaring debt, they think. So far, 25 have signed on.
The idea is to build relationships so it becomes easier to discuss issues and resolve differences, Manchin said. “We spend more time traveling back and forth collectively . . . all over the country . . . than we do governing,” he said. “Something is broken when you don’t build relationships.”
Manchin, D-W.Va., said he feels so strongly about the concept that he is not only serving as a co-chairman, along with Huntsman, a former Republican governor from Utah, but is conducting a tour across West Virginia to get the message out.
“If you carve out a strong voice with responsible policies, you can make your voice heard and you can truly have impact from the middle,” Manchin added.
Details for this story were provided by The Register-Herald in Beckley, W.Va.