West Virginia Democrat Takes Out His Gun Again In a New Ad, But This Time He's Fighting For Healthcare

Senator Joe Manchin appears in a new campaign ad. (Joe Manchin/YouTube)

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia returned to a familiar theme in a new campaign ad. In it, Manchin totes a shotgun out to a field and takes aim at something he says will hurt the people of West Virginia.

The target? A lawsuit filed by the Justice Department and a cadre of Republican Attorneys General from 20 states. Among them are Manchin's opponent, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

The lawsuit seeks to overturn protections in the Affordable Care Act—or Obamacare—for pre-existing conditions. The AGs argue the ACA is unconstitutional after Congress eliminated the individual mandate with the GOP tax bill passed in 2017.

Watch Manchin's ad here:

The incumbent Democrat also posted the new ad to his Twitter account, with the message:

"Patrick Morrisey's lawsuit would take away health care from people with pre-existing conditions. That's just dead wrong, and that ain't gonna happen."
"Pat's lawsuit would take away health care coverage for 800,000 West Virginians with common pre-existing conditions like diabetes, arthritis, and high blood pressure. That's not our West Virginia values."

In 2010—during Manchin's first campaign for Senate—he released a similar ad with a different target. That time the recipient of his shotgun blast was an anti-coal cap-and-trade bill supported by Democrats and then President Barack Obama.

Manchin was Governor when West Virginia Democratic Senator Robert Byrd died. Manchin appointed a successor then ran in a special election and won the seat in 2010. He ran again in 2012, without employing his shotgun.

Manchin's new ad serves a dual purpose, just as it did in 2010. In that earlier election, Manchin wished to show the people of West Virginia he would buck his own party in their interests. Now, in 2018, Manchin addresses the shortcomings of his opponent through blasting the lawsuit he joined.

But the other, more subtle purpose is to illustrate Manchin's commitment to sensible gun ownership and use by his constituents. In other words, Manchin is a supporter of the right to bear arms responsibly. That point is driven home by numerous posts on his Twitter feed.

Back in March, in the wake of hearings after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Manchin said:

"It's not gun control, it's gun sense."

The Senator referred to a bill he co-sponsored a bill in 2013 with Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The legislation would have established a database of those prohibited from owning guns while expanding nationwide background checks.

Manchin hoped to revive the legislation in 2018, but was blocked by the GOP. In June, Manchin told ABC:

"I'm more concerned right now about pre-existing conditions. I'm more concerned about 800,000 West Virginians losing their ability to have insurance or buy insurance because they've been sick. Something's wrong here, we've gotta change that."

Reactions to Manchin's ad on social media however rarely addressed the ad itself as the following messages to Manchin show.

Most of those responding brought up one topic and it was not Obamacare or the 2nd Amendment. Their concern lay with Brett Kavanaugh's appointment to the Supreme Court.

Midterm elections are slated for Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It took a global pandemic and a national health crisis for the White House to temporarily restore daily press briefings after more than a year.

The purpose of the briefings is to update the public on the virus's spread and which potentially lifesaving measures are necessary for Americans to take in order to keep themselves and their families safe.

Keep reading... Show less
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images; Samuel Corum/Getty Images

With Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) officially suspending his campaign on Wednesday, all signs are pointing to a showdown between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden in November.

The pair's differing stances on how to curb the global pandemic that's resulted in a national health crisis in the United States are already highlighting just how much more effective—and levelheaded—a Biden presidency would be.

Keep reading... Show less
Walter McBride/Getty Images // Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Donald Trump's hatred of the late Republican Senator from Arizona, John McCain, was widely known even before McCain cast the decisive vote that saved the Affordable Care Act in 2017.

That hatred has only worsened since that vote, with Trump initially refusing to lower flags at half staff to honor him and even implying that McCain is in Hell.

Keep reading... Show less
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Pastor and Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. came under fire late last month when he ordered faculty to return to the university and gave students the option to return, despite the mounting health crisis in the United States.

Surely enough, it wasn't long before students began falling ill.

Keep reading... Show less
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway may be one of President Donald Trump's most vocal defenders, but her husband—Republican lawyer George Conway—is decidedly not.

After months of speaking out against Trump on Twitter, Conway and three other prominent Republican strategists formed Project Lincoln late last year.

Keep reading... Show less

The World Health Organization (WHO) is responsible for providing guidance regarding international public health, so people around the world are looking to the WHO during this global pandemic.

Keep reading... Show less