|Manchin, center, with Majority Leader Harry|
Reid, D-Nevada, and other supporters of his
gun-control amendment (Getty Images)
"The two senators thought they had the NRA's tacit agreement not to oppose their amendment," NBC News reports on its First Read blog.
"If they hadn't scored it, we'd have gotten 70 votes," Manchin said at a Washington breakfast sponsored by The Wall Street Journal. "They made a big mistake." The lobby also gave a distorted description of how expanded background checks would work, Journal reporter Kris Maher writes.
Manchin, noting the immigration reform bill introduced this week, said it is difficult for conservative members to support more than one bipartisan compromise at a time, especially if it involves a change of position on an issue. "If you lose that credibility in any way, shape or form with your base, you're in trouble," he said, adding that a senator in such a position may ask, "How much energy do I have to sell two things?"
"Manchin said he planned to continue trying to persuade colleagues to change their minds and was willing to change his proposal to give lawmakers a basis for embracing it without being accused of flip-flopping," Maher reports.