West Virginia's Manchin confirms he'll seek re-election, renewing Democratic hopes

PHOTO: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) talks to reporters after a Senate vote on a temporary funding bill at the Capitol, in Washington, Jan. 22, 2018.PlayPETE Marovich/The New York Times/Redux
WATCH Sen. Manchin questions Jeff Sessions

Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, confirmed he will seek re-election, quelling his party's fears that if he retired a Republican could win his seat.

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“I’m running again because I know I can bridge the political divide and put the days of division behind us,” Manchin said in a statement announcing he filed for re-election Wednesday. "I want to continue to be a problem solver and to get things done for West Virginia and the country that I love.”

Manchin warned Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and fellow Democrats about his frustrations with Washington politics Tuesday before conceding he plans to run again, according to The New York Times.

In an interview with the Times, Manchin admitted he told them, “this place sucks.”

He clarified that remark Wednesday, telling CNN, “I said the place sucks when it doesn't work. I get a little frustrated at times. I let it fly that day.”

PHOTO: Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) makes remarks prior to President Donald J. Trump signing H.J. Res. 38, disapproving the rule submitted by the US Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule in the White House, Feb. 16, 2017. Ron Sachs/Pool/Getty Images
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) makes remarks prior to President Donald J. Trump signing H.J. Res. 38, disapproving the rule submitted by the US Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule in the White House, Feb. 16, 2017.

Manchin is considered the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, and most recently voted against the government shutdown.

Nevertheless, he’s been a central figure on immigration reform, leveraging his middle-of-the-road ideology to propose a bipartisan solution that includes shielding Dreamers from deportation.

Monday, after three days of a government shutdown, Manchin was one of two Democratic senators invited to meet with President Donald Trump at the White House to discuss a path forward for both DACA recipients and for those prioritizing border security.

PHOTO: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) talks to reporters after a Senate vote on a temporary funding bill at the Capitol, in Washington, Jan. 22, 2018. PETE Marovich/The New York Times/Redux
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) talks to reporters after a Senate vote on a temporary funding bill at the Capitol, in Washington, Jan. 22, 2018.

Acting as a liaison between his more liberal colleagues and the president, Manchin said that Trump was “very pleased” with outcome of the meeting.

He said the president “wants the DACA children to have certainty and a pathway forward," he told CNN.

“There might be people around [the president] that aren't quite as sympathetic as he is. My gut tells me the president wants to get this done,” he said.

The Durbin-Graham-Flake compromise proposed a week ago outlines a plan for DACA recipients to be put on a 12-year path to citizenship with up to two years credit for time spent with temporary deportation protections under the DACA program.

As a key member of the “Common Sense Coalition,” Manchin and the bipartisan group of senators are determined to hammer out a deal on immigration reform ahead of the looming Feb. 8 deadline for the continuing resolution.

“There’s a lot of good ideas out there,” the senator told ABC News Tuesday. “There’s no base bill we’re starting with.”

ABC News’ Trish Turner, Mariam Khan and Emily Goodin contributed to this report.