MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Update: 1/1/2018 10:45 P.M.
Hillary Clinton was mentioned in a West Virginia senatorial debate Thursday night, almost as much as the two Senate candidates: Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
Morrisey:: "(Manchin) made his bed with Hillary Clinton, and that's bad for West Virginia.
Manchin responded: "Hillary Clinton is not on the ballot. Joe Manchin and Pat Morrisey..Pat, I'm right here."
As expected, the candidates' ties to the pharmaceutical industry were discussed.
Manchin described Morrisey's past a s a drug company lobbyist.
Morrisey brought up Manchin's daughter Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan, which came under fire for its EpiPen prices.
Manchin, referring to Morrisey: "This is the only man who has profited from pills coming to West Virginia. And he's going to say (in a lawsuit involving McKesson pharmaceuticals), 'I'm going to recuse myself', after he was removed from the case."
Morrisey: "(Manchin)'s the largest recipient of Mylan Pharmaceuticals cash, and they're a large maker of opioids, EpiPens, and Senator Manchin defends them. That's outrageous."
But they also clashed over immigration.
Morrisey said Manchin supports open borders. Manchin mentioned a bi-partisan bill he supported five years ago that passed the then-Democratic-controlled Senate, but was not considered by the Republican-controlled House.
Sen. Manchin: "And basically, it was the toughest piece of legislation...I respected the Republicans and the Democrats who know best, (with) John McCain leading the charge. And that bill did it, and they said it was amnesty."
Morrisey: "We know he supported open borders, and we know he's been on both sides of the border wall. He's quoted as saying that."
While Morrisey accused Manchin of siding with liberal Democrats, Manchin said Morrisey would support Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, whom he accused of supporting cuts in entitlement programs, and of holding up a coal miners pension bill, also supported by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.
And, as Morrisey also often mentioned in the hour-long debate, President Donald Trump is expected to make his third stop of the campaign season Friday in West Virginia, this time at Huntington's Tri-State Airport, to campaign for Morrisey and other GOP candidates.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican challenger Patrick Morrisey wrap up their race's only debate Thursday night in Morgantown.
Manchin is a former governor seeking his second full Senate term. Morrisey is a two-term state attorney general and staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, who is scheduled to rally for Morrisey a third time with an appearance Friday in Huntington.
Manchin has said he too supports many of Trump's initiatives, casting himself as a bipartisan lawmaker while criticizing Morrisey's previous work as a pharmaceutical industry lobbyist and his New Jersey roots.
Morrisey said he's a West Virginian by choice. His campaign has said Manchin "only acts bipartisan around election day ..."
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U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D) and candidate Patrick Morrisey (R) will debate in Morgantown, WV, LIVE at 7:00 PM on Thursday, Nov. 1, on WIYE / CBS 47 and at https://www.thenewscenter.tv/livestream2.
For months, Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin have trade remarks in campaign appearances and commercials about the other's stands and backgrounds.
Manchin talks up his West Virginia roots while saying Morrisey is a former New Jersey lobbyist.
Another disagreement between the two is about whether or not Manchin is the bi-partisan lawmaker he claims he is.
"He basically thrives on divisiveness, which is what we see in this country, and people hate," Manchin said while in Parkersburg Wednesday. "And I understand he's upset about me being the most centrist, the most bi-partisan member of the Senate."
"He has partnered with Hillary Clinton, (Chuck) Shumer, and all those radicals on the left. We can't allow that to happen," Morrisey said in a Tuesday "get out the vote" rally in Parkersburg. "That's why we're getting the message out, that there's a big difference between our two campaigns."
And the debate is taking place as the West Virginia Poll, released Thursday, shows Manchin with a slim, 5-point lead over Morrisey.
A poll taken in mid-October for Gray Television, WTAP's parent company, had Manchin leading Morrisey by more than 15 points.
A day after his opponent was in town-and a day before the only debate between the two candidates-Sen. Joe Manchin holds his own rally in Parkersburg.
The Demcratic Senator's campaign hosted a luncheon Wednesday at the Blennerhassett Hotel.
He argued Republican Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey would lead the way in cutting Social Security and Medicare, and eliminate pre-existing conditions in health care if elected.
Manchin also took aim at Morrisey's claims Manchin isn't being truthful.
"He's not from here," Manchin said, referring to Morrisey's New Jersey roots. "He doesn't understand our culture, who we come from, where we come from. I don't know if he could find Farmington, where I came from; we're a coal mining area. It doesn't surprise me; that's the only tactic they've been able to use, and that's what he resorts to."
Manchin also responded to comments in mid-October by Republican Sen. Rand Paul at a Pleasants County rally.
Paul said Manchin never voted against a spending bill.
Manchin Wednesday said Republicans, including Paul, are responsible for a tax cut bill that adds to the federal defecit.
A candidate for U.S. Senate in West Virginia rallies the party faithful.
Republican candidate Patrick Morrisey appeared at the party headquarters in Parkersburg Tuesday morning, urging those in attendance to vote in the November election, and urge their friends and neighbors to do so.
Morriisey continues to campaign throughout the state ahead to fhe Thursday night debate with his opponent, Sen. Joe Manchin, and a rally Friday with President Donald Trump.
"I feel good about our prospects, but we're going to keep going and working in Wood, Pleasants and Jackson counties, all across West Virginia," Morrisey said. "And I think when we do that, the election results will be clear."
Morrisey-the state Attorney General-continued to argue that a vote for Democrat Manchin is a vote to shift leadership of the Senate from Republicans to Democrats.