CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A top West Virginia union official says he was taken aback by Gov. Joe Manchin's support for extending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
Still, West Virginia AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Larry Matheney said Thursday the union would continue to back the Democrat in his bid for U.S. Senate.
On Wednesday, Manchin said he believes Bush-era tax breaks should be extended for all Americans, including the wealthiest. The governor said the federal government should seek ways to be more efficient before asking people of any income level to pay higher taxes in a recession.
Matheney on Thursday said those statements are disappointing.
"When there's a tremendous outcry about deficit spending, to continue the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest in the belief that it's somehow going to stimulate our economy, it defies logic," Matheney said. "I think anyone supporting the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest is disappointing, and it was surprising."
The tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year. President Obama and many Democrats want to extend them for 98 percent of Americans - households earning less than $250,000. Under their proposal, Americans who earn more than that would see their taxes rise, though not to the level they were before the cuts.
Republicans favor extending the tax breaks for people of all income levels.
Manchin faces Republican John Raese and Mountain Party candidate Jesse Johnson in the Nov. 2 election.
The state AFL-CIO has officially endorsed Manchin. Matheney said that support still stands.