Sen. Manchin: Sorry for DADT Vote

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on December 11 2010 1:35 PM ET

Sen. Joe Manchin, the only Democratic senator to vote against "don't
ask, don't tell" repeal, apologized for his vote and said this was not an issue
of whether he agrees with the law but "an issue of timing."

Manchin said in a statement Friday that the repeal of the law barring gay and lesbian troops from openly serving in the military would be too difficult to implement with the current status of combat.

"While I believe the 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' policy will be repealed someday, and probably should be repealed in the near future, I do not support its repeal at this time," the senator from West Virginia said. "I truly understand that my position will anger those who believe repeal should happen now and for that I sincerely apologize. While I am very sympathetic to those who passionately support the repeal, as a Senator of just three weeks, I have not had the opportunity to visit and hear the full range of viewpoints from the citizens of West Virginia."

Manchin also said President Barack Obama should issue an executive order to stop enforcing the law.