Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin accused the Obama administration of failing to lead on the international stage, arguing the White House has allowed the nation to be pulled into a series of reactive foreign policy decisions rather than implementing a coherent foreign policy.
"We should be looking at the future. We should have a vision for the future. We should be able to help the world, but we should be taking care of ourself and making ourself strong first," the West Virginia Democrat said in an interview on WOWK's show Decision Makers over the weekend.
"You lead by example. Right now we're leading by ... we're not leading really. We're just getting pulled in all different directions. There's not a clarity of who is the United States of America and what do we stand for," Manchin added.
Manchin also warned Obama's successor will face a similar situation on the domestic front and that voters will expect a candidate who can move past a reactionary approach to policy.
"We've got to rise above the politics of the day and we're not able to," Manchin said. We're in a quagmire. The politics is holding our country down, the greatness of our country, and who we are. And policy is not leading our country, it's the politics of the day."
Meanwhile, Manchin played coy when asked if he was interested in running for president, saying simply that the question was "very flattering."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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