"Hello Reddit! Let's get started," Senator Joe Manchin says cheerfully before diving into a list of questions for Atlantic Video's Ask Washington Anything series. Earlier this week, 3 million members of Reddit's Politics community had a chance to submit and vote on questions for the lawmaker. Manchin tackles the top ten in the 20-minute video above, covering gun control, drugs, coal mining, and more.
One of the few remaining moderates in an increasingly polarized Congress, Manchin approaches these wide-ranging issues seeking what he calls "balance." Although he's in favor of developing renewable energy sources, he points out the country's ongoing reliance on his state's coal industry. When asked about his thoughts on gay marriage, he is frank: "I was raised in little Farmington, West Virginia, and I don't believe in any aspect of discrimination. With that being said, I do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. I know that might be [different] from other people, but that's my view."
What Is Ask Washington Anything?
The interview kicks off a new series called Ask Washington Anything, produced by Atlantic Video in partnership with Reddit. Inspired by the social media site's popular "Ask Me Anything" question-and-answer sessions, we've reached out to politicians and other Washington insiders to field queries from Reddit users. Our first three videos feature Manchin; Grover Norquist, president and founder of Americans for Tax Reform; and Sam Kass, Executive Director for Let's Move! and former White House chef.