Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) said "the institution" of the Senate is at stake if his fellow Democrats goad Republican leadership into approving 'the nuclear option' by filibustering Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination.

Manchin, speaking with an NBC News reporter outside an event in Mingo County, said he is "talking to everybody I think would be reasonable" about bucking the party's planned filibuster against President Trump's Supreme Court nominee.


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He reiterated his party's concerns over how Republicans treated President Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, but said that "two wrongs don't make a right."

"I do not support the nuclear option whatsoever, because it will deteriorate the Senate as we know it," said Manchin, adding that the "institution" of the Senate is at stake if Republicans approve a 50-vote majority threshold.

He said such a move would not be in line with the Founding Fathers' intent to have a simple-majority Senate body.

Manchin, 69, said the public can expect to see more Democrats defy their party leadership and support the nominee.

Of the Trump-supporting states' Democratic senators, only Manchin and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) have announced their support for Gorsuch.

Senators Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) have announced they will not support the judge.


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