"When I consider to be the crux of the problem is keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them," Manchin said, adding that he supports "vigorous criminal background checks" and identifying people with serious mental illnesses.
Manchin stressed the importance of cybersecurity to counter attacks that occur on a daily basis.
"We need to secure our nation, including our power-grid system and all the things we depend on, on a daily basis.
Manchin also said he is opposed to amnesty for immigrants who are in the United States illegally.
"I could not support that [amnesty] under any conditions," he said.
Manchin is strongly opposed to possible White House plans to initiate new environmental regulations without congressional support.
"I am totally opposed to that. Our Founding Fathers put together a system I think we should adhere to. There are three branches of government. ... I would be very outspoken [and] do everything I can to block the powers that weren't given to any president under our Constitution."
Manchin backed Obama's proposal to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour by the end of 2015.
"Overall, I do not have a problem with that. But we have to be sensitive about how some businesses implement that," Manchin said.
"We need to encourage people to get better skill sets," he said. "But those who don't have [those skills] still need to have the ability to get a living wage."
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.