Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Lisa Murkowski endorsed each other in their reelection campaigns, reinforcing their positions as two of the senators likeliest to buck their parties' preferences.

The centrist West Virginia Democrat and Alaska Republican endorsed each other during a joint interview on CNN'S State of the Union, a decision made after both politicians took significant actions to separate themselves from their parties.

"I am endorsing my dear friend, Lisa Murkowski. Alaska could only be so lucky to have her continue to serve them," Manchin announced on Sunday.


"Thank you," Murkowski responded.

"She knows I feel that way, too, very strongly," Manchin told CNN's Jake Tapper. "It's hypocritical to basically work with a person day in and day out, and then when they're in cycle, you're supposed to be against them just because they have an 'R' or 'D' by their name. If these are good people I've worked with, we have accomplished a lot, why in the world wouldn't I want to work with them and continue to work with them?"

The Alaska Republican returned the favor by saying of Manchin, whose next election run is in 2024, "If he's running, I'm endorsing him."

The centrists emphasized the importance of pursuing a bipartisan agenda.

"I think sometimes, when the going gets tough, we just say, 'That's too hard,' and we retreat to the party messages ... We've got to get to the place where we understand one another, and you can't get to understanding without listening," Murkowski said Sunday morning.

Manchin had teased backing Murkowski for several months, stating in April 2021 that he would endorse Murkowski "in a heartbeat."

Murkowski, who is running for reelection in this year's midterm elections, was one of seven Republicans who voted to convict former President Donald Trump during his impeachment after the Jan. 6 riot. She faces a primary challenge from Kelly Tshibaka, a former Alaskan commissioner of the Department of Administration whom Trump endorsed.

The West Virginia centrist has regularly pressed back on the Democratic Party's agenda, including voting against the Build Back Better plan due to some of its more liberal proposals, such as green energy measures that would curb the use of fossil fuels and a provision that would make community college tuition-free.


Manchin has endorsed other Republicans, including Sen. Susan Collins, a fellow centrist who voted to convict Trump as part of the 2021 impeachment proceedings, ahead of her successful 2020 reelection campaign.