Joe Manchin Hobnobbed With Republican Donors at Fundraiser

Billionaire Trump donor Nelson Peltz held a fundraiser for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) in Florida last month, CNBC reported on Monday. The $5,000-per-plate event attracted at least 50 executives, many of them notable Republican donors, as well as Manchin himself, who said he plans on running for reelection in 2024, according to one attendee.

A spokesperson for Peltz confirmed the fundraiser at the former Wall Street executive’s $95 million Palm Beach, Florida, estate. “Mr. Peltz supports Mr. Manchin,” Anne Tarbell told CNBC in an email. “He believes Mr. Manchin is a rare elected politician from both sides of the aisle who puts country before party, something which Mr. Peltz believes is much needed in our country today.”

Peltz’s love for Manchin isn’t new. He told CNBC last year that he calls the senator regularly. “Joe is the most important guy in D.C. Maybe the most important guy in America today,” Peltz said as Manchin was stonewalling President Biden’s social spending bill. “I call him every week and say, ‘Joe, you’re doing great. Stay tough. Stay tough, buddy.’ He’s phenomenal.”

Peltz, who hosted fundraisers for Trump in which couples paid out as much as as $580,000, also commended Manchin for “keeping our elected officials somewhere in the middle” and not “pushing us to the extremes … where it’s uncomfortable.” Once again, Peltz is a big Trump supporter.

The fundraiser at Peltz’s estate last month drew notable donors like Home Depot billionaire co-founders Bernard Marcus and Ken Langone. Langone was a prominent Trump supporter before vowing to support Biden following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. He donated to Manchin last year, and has also ferried money toward fellow centrist Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, who along with Manchin has a knack for opening up wealthy conservative checkbooks.

Some donors at Peltz’s fundraiser also see in Manchin someone who could switch parties and beat Biden in 2024, according to one attendee. Machin has disagreed with the president not only over social spending, but also voting rights, taxing the rich, and the environment. Rolling Stone has reported extensively on Manchin’s coal corruption.

Regardless of whether Machin decides to mount an intra-party challenge to Biden in a few years, he seems he’ll at least be making a bid to remain in Congress. If he does, he’ll be well positioned to do so thanks to his conservative friends. Manchin has more than $7 million on hand as of the end of March, according to the Federal Election Commission.