Manchin Challenges Obama on Surveillance

Photograph by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

People walk by a Verizon advertisement on June 7, 2013 in New York City.

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia is breaking with a fellow Democrat, President Barack Obama, over the administration’s broad surveillance of telephone calls and Internet usage.

“It bothers me, and I think it bothers you and every other American,” Manchin said on “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing this weekend on Bloomberg Television.

Manchin’s position aligns him with former Vice President Al Gore, who said on Twitter,  “Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?”

Manchin said in an interview for the TV program that he would support targeted efforts in an attempt to stave off future terrorist attacks. The American  people’s freedoms should not be a victim of terrorism, he said.

“I’m wanting to do everything I can to fight the war on terror,” Manchin said. “There will not be another day in my life, my children or grandchildren’s life they won’t have to be vigilant against terrorists wanting to do us harm.  But do you give up everything as an American?”

It’s worth recalling that Obama distanced himself from Obama during the campaigns, and none of West Virginia’s counties voted for the president’s reelection last year.



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