And that's why I stand up for fiscal responsibility. Because if this country continues to go further into debt, all the priorities we care about -- whether it is saving Social Security and Medicare, protecting women against violence, or much-needed funding for Head Start -- will be in jeopardy if we don't get our financial house in order and have the money to pay our bills.
I am determined to leave this country better off for the next generation, like my parents did for me, and their parents did for them.
These are just some of the issues where I have stood proudly with my fellow Democrats. And when it comes to protecting West Virginia working families, I will continue to work with my fellow Democrats in moving our shared agenda forward, as I have always done as a West Virginia Democrat.
Those are the values I bring to my work and the votes I cast as your United States senator. No matter what the issue, I will vote as a proud West Virginia Democrat.
In the meantime, too many people in Washington and in the news media spend too much time dividing people along party lines, keeping score and placing blame. I want to bring people together to build a consensus and solve problems. That's what I did as governor, and that's what I'm trying to do as senator.
If that means I have to break with my party to do what's best for the country, I will. If it means I take on a sitting president to protect West Virginia interests, I have and I will.
I haven't changed. I was born a West Virginia Democrat, and will always be a West Virginia Democrat. That means I will always put West Virginia first.
Manchin, West Virginia's junior U.S. senator, wrote this commentary in response to a Gazette editorial questioning his political beliefs.