'I did everything I could to bring us together so we'd have more support': Manchin

Martha Raddatz interviews Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., on "This Week."
7:08 | 03/07/21

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Transcript for 'I did everything I could to bring us together so we'd have more support': Manchin
Moderate senator Joe Manchin a critical swing vote at the center of all. Senator Manchin joins me now. Senator, you brought the senate to a standstill for ten hours on Friday, threatened to side with Republicans and did not budge until a call from the president and significant concessions were made. In the end, you got $300 instead of $400 for benefits. In this pandemic economy, you don't think people need more money. First of all, Martha, it's good to be with you. Next of all, I didn't do anything intentionally whatsoever, I did everything I could to bring us together and have more support. We have so many different ways that we're helping the public with this piece of legislation. It's not that I don't think -- I think that basically what would have happened, going from $300 to $400 are going to go without unemployment benefits for a while. Also, we did things with child tax credits that we've never done before, which I'm so proud of, because we're going to help families with children, lift children out of poverty. Also, Martha, this was a targeted piece of legislation, it's because people need the help. Also we targeted our cities, our counties, our municipalities, to where they're going for the first time having money they're able to use and control their own destiny with infrastructure, they can fix water lines, sewer lines. They can get internet. We've done so much and we extended this. This was all part of the big package. I always try to work with my Democrat colleagues, my caucus and my Republican friends, and there was a lot of output over the last month. Senator, we know you're all about bipartisanship, but president Biden didn't get a single Republican vote for a relief package in the middle of a pandemic, so at this point doesn't bipartisanship seem like a false hope? Not at all, Martha. The first group of people that president Biden brought to the white house was ten of my friends, ten Republicans, to see their ideas. They came out with a proposal, he thought we needed tdo a lot more, that's his prerogative and I support him, but with that we had a lot of input from Republican friends all through this process, a lot of the changes that we made that were brought into this process came by working with my Republican and Democrat colleagues together. There were about 20 of us they worked continuously. They had a tremendous amount of input. They just couldn't get there at the end. The president encouraged them to be involved all the way through. He spoke to them all the way up to the end, so I know that. I know in his heart and he'll continue to reach out, that's just who he is. You know, political rope that they're outside influence has cast a shadow over the senate since the day the Democrats captured their 50/50 majority, they're talking about this, they're talking about minimum wage, cabinet appointments. If they're not getting bipartisan support, do the Democrats now have to cater to Joe Manchin's agenda? Not at all. I didn't lobby for this position. I've never changed. I'm the same person I've been all my life and since I've been in public offices. I've been the same. I've been waiting the same way for the last ten years. I look for that moderate middle. The common sense that comes with the moderate middle. That's what people expect. My state of West Virginia they know me, they know how I've governed. I try to represent them to the best of my ability. These are hardworking, good, commonsense people, that's what I want. You've got to work a little bit harder when we have this toxic atmosphere and the divisions that we have and the tribal mentality, Martha, that's not to be acceptable. You have to work had and fight against those urges just to cloister within your group and say, this is where I am. I always want that moderate middle to able to work and that's where you govern from. That's where you run your life from. Let's talk about the minimum wage, you and other seven other democratic senators voted against Bernie Sanders' amendment that would increase minimum wage to $15. Here's what white house press secretary Jen psaki said about that. We agree with senator Sanders. The president is going to standing by him, fighting for an increase in the minimum wage to $15. He'll use his political capital to get that done. You have your own proposal to increase the minimum wage to $11, so is Joe Biden wasting his political capital on you to get to $15? Martha, not at all. President Joe Biden knows how to get a deal done, and the bottom line is, there is not one senator out of a hundred that don't want to raise the minimum wage. I agree with president Biden when he says if you go to work every day you should be above the poverty guidelines. Well, the poverty guidelines to be above that if you're going to work and working full time should be at $11 base. That should be your base and then we index it with inflation to make sure that it never gets back in this political conundrum we have right now, it shouldn't be a political football. We do the same thing with social security. We index that to make sure in inflation it moves forward with the cpi. We can do the same. We have a deal here to be made. If everyone agrees it should be raised. Bernie has chosen $15. You know what, a lot of states have moved to $15. Very few are at 7.25. But we need to base the base of our minimum wage should be above the poverty guideline. You have the respect and dignity of work. That's what we're going to do. I think we'll see come to an agreement. We'll work this out. Senator, we'll be watching that. I want to turn finally to governor Cuomo, you were a former governor. Overnight, more stories about governor Cuomo with several staffers telling "The Washington post" that it was a toxic, hostile work environment for decades, also accusations of sexual harassment and you know the debacle with the nursing homes, do you think it's time for governor Cuomo to resign? To step down? These are serious allegations. I understand there's an investigation and we should wait until the investigation is finished. I've seen a rush to judgment before. I think the investigation should proceed and make a decision later and that's what I would hope that everyone would do and allow this process to go through. Allow the investigation to be completed. Allow the person to be defend themselves. And tell their story, too. That's who we are as a country. The rule of law is our bedrock. Everyone deserves that opportunity. Thanks so much for joining us this morning, senator Manchin. Thank you, Martha. Thanks for having me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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