'Stay tough': Centrist Manchin receives encouragement from Trump-supporting billionaire

'Stay tough': Centrist Manchin receives encouragement from Trump-supporting billionaire
Image via Screengrab

Billionaire investor and Trump supporter Nelson Peltz recently shed light on his weekly discussions with centrist-leaning Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and the advice he's given him on his conflicting position as a Democratic lawmaker.

During an appearance on CNBC's "Halftime Report," Peltz, the founder of Trian Partners, lauded the Democratic lawmaker for "keeping our elected officials somewhere in the middle." He also said that he regularly encourages Manchin to "stay tough" on his position opposing President Joe Biden's Build Back Better agenda and other Democratic-proposed initiatives.

"Joe is the most important guy in DC. Maybe the most important guy in America today," Peltz said of the West Virginia lawmaker who he has shared 10 years of friendship with. "I call him every week and say, 'Joe, you're doing great. Stay tough. Stay tough, buddy.' He's phenomenal."

Our enemies are 'across the ocean, not across the aisle': Peltz on infrastructure bill www.youtube.com

Peltz remarks come as Manchin and fellow centrist Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.) continue their pushback against Biden's domestic spending proposal. Without Manchin and Sinema's support, Biden's initial infrastructure proposal of $3.5 trillion failed as it required the support of all 50 Democratic lawmakers in the Senate.

Their opposition has led to heightened backlash from Democrats and Progressives. In fact, the opposition toward Sinema has led to five of her veteran advisors' resignations. She was also blasted for failing to prioritize her constituents over big donors. You have become one of the principal obstacles to progress, answering to big donors rather than your own people," Sinema's former advisors wrote in their resignation letter.

But despite the blowback, Manchin's beliefs happen to align with many of Peltz's. Like many Republicans, Manchin disapproves of raising corporate taxes; an incentive most Democratic lawmakers have supported. Back in 2016, Peltz, in contrast, supported former President Donald Trump's proposal to decrease taxes for the same group.

At the time, Peltz said, "If he gets the kind of tax reductions he's talking about, we will wind up having more employment, more companies coming back to the United States."

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