Sen. Joe Manchin’s skepticism of the massive social and climate spending bill pushed by the White House has stoked frustration among his Democratic colleagues for months.

But Manchin’s decision last week to oppose the legislation altogether sparked a wave of outrage that, in some cases, has led to personal attacks.

The centrist West Virginia Democrat has consistently opposed the ambitious size and scope of the spending plan proposed by the White House earlier this year. Manchin has argued for funding fewer programs for longer periods of time, rejecting the current approach of authorizing a wide array of programs for short windows in order to keep the bill’s estimated cost low on paper.


Here are five of the most pointed attacks Democrats have launched on Manchin.

Manchin 'doesn’t care about black people'

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, blamed Manchin’s opposition to the Build Back Better Act on racism in a blistering attack on the centrist Democrat.

"It’s tremendously frustrating for me as a black man in America because once again, it’s an example of Joe Manchin as a white man showing that he doesn’t care about black people,” Bowman said during a Monday appearance on CNN.

”He doesn’t care about Latinos, he doesn’t care about immigrants, he doesn’t care about women, and he doesn’t care about the poor. He is a millionaire, and he has the privilege to kick the can down the road and not vote for this bill while the people in my district are suffering,” Bowman said.

Bowman is a Democratic socialist and has joined other far-left lawmakers in framing the failure of the Build Back Better Act as an existential threat.

Bowman joined a handful of other liberal lawmakers in voting against the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the fall the first time House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempted to pass it without bringing Build Back Better to the floor simultaneously.

Manchin is not a 'man of his word'

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chairwoman of the Progressive Caucus, issued a scathing written statement after Manchin’s pronouncement that all but labeled Manchin as a liar.

“Sen. Manchin has betrayed his commitment not only to the president and Democrats in Congress but most importantly to the American people,” Jayapal said in the statement. “He routinely touts that he is a man of his word, but he can no longer say that.”

Jayapal later vented during a call with reporters that Manchin’s “lack of integrity is stunning.”

Her comments stemmed from a sense on the Left that Manchin had committed to supporting Build Back Better, which liberal lawmakers have cited as their reason for ultimately conceding to the idea of separating the infrastructure bill from the spending proposal.

President Joe Biden signed the infrastructure bill into law in November.

Manchin, however, has argued his objections to the plan have remained the same throughout the negotiation process, and Democratic leadership refused to make the changes that he said would earn his support.

Manchin ‘misled you’

Biden joined in the Democratic pile-on this week when he accused Manchin, during a speech about COVID-19, of privately admitting that he misled liberal lawmakers.

“I’m told he was speaking to the liberal caucus in the House and said, ‘Joe Biden didn’t mislead you. I misled you,’” Biden said in response to questions asked at his pandemic-related appearance Tuesday.

Biden appeared to echo liberals’ concerns that Manchin baited them into breaking up the infrastructure bill and Build Back Better. The president went a step further, suggesting Manchin had boasted that he did so intentionally.

But the White House was later forced to backtrack on Biden’s comments.

A White House spokesperson told CNN that “the president wanted to clarify that Sen. Manchin did not characterize himself as having been ‘misleading.’”

Manchin committed ​​an “egregious breach of the trust”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez leveled a broadside this week not just at Manchin but at Democratic congressional leaders who engaged in negotiations with him in the first place.

“We have every right to be furious with Joe Manchin, but it's really up to leadership in the Democratic Party, who made the decision to get us to this juncture,” Ocasio-Cortez said during an appearance on MSNBC this week.

The far-left New York Democrat went on to suggest Manchin had tricked Biden by dragging out negotiations with the president without any real intention of supporting the legislation.

"I think what Sen. Manchin did yesterday represents such an egregious breach of the trust of the president,” she said.

Manchin’s move was 'inexplicable'

In an aggressive statement launched before Biden began publicly attempting to keep hope for the bill alive, White House press secretary Jen Psaki accused Manchin of a baffling flip-flop on legislation he’s long criticized.

Psaki said in the statement that Manchin’s comments on Sunday “represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the president and the senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate.”

She claimed Manchin’s announcement was “at odds with his discussions this week with the president, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances.”

Her fiery words were widely interpreted as a sign the White House was truly done negotiating with Manchin, as it was the most pointed attack the White House had made on Manchin during months of a public and private pressure campaign to get him on board with Build Back Better.


However, the Biden administration appears to have since pivoted to a more diplomatic approach.

Psaki later said Biden’s priority remains working with Manchin to get an agreement on the spending bill and suggested during a White House briefing that the sharpness in her initial statement was simply an effort to match the sharpness of Manchin’s announcement of his opposition to the bill.

Biden and Manchin have also reportedly spoken on the phone since the statement in a conversation that was described as cordial.