Manchin on near-fight in Senate: ‘It looked like a Third World country’

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) weighed in on the near-fight in the Senate Tuesday, saying it “looked like a Third World country.”

“When they’ve got to a fever pitch where they wanna fight, they’re calling each other names,” Manchin said Thursday on Fox News. “It looked like a Third World country or a Banana Republic, and that’s not who we are.”

Manchin was referencing a near-fight between Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) and Sean O’Brien, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, during a hearing Tuesday.

Mullin challenged O’Brien to a fight during the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing after he read aloud O’Brien’s posts calling him a “clown” and a “fraud.”

“Sir, this is a time, this is place. You want to run your mouth; we can be two consenting adults; we can finish it here,” Mullin said.

“You want to do it now? Stand your butt up then,” Mullin said, in response to O’Brien’s acceptance.

He stood up to challenge O’Brien when Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chair of the panel, told the lawmaker to sit down and reminded him he was a U.S. senator.

Mullin, a former mixed martial arts fighter, later defended his conduct by saying, “every now and then, you need to get punched in the face.”

Tensions also rose in the House Tuesday when Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) alleged that former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) elbowed him in the back.

Manchin, referring to the Tuesday incidents, said he thinks the behavior reflects poorly on the U.S. as it attempts to handle several tense foreign relations issues across the globe.

“We are the superpower of the world,” Manchin said. “People are looking to us for leadership.”

The West Virginia senator recently announced he would not be running for reelection. In his statement, Manchin said he believes he has accomplished what he set out to do for his state.

Manchin said he plans to travel the country and see if there is consensus for mobilizing “the middle and bring Americans together.” He later suggested that he is “considering” leaving the Democratic Party.

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