CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Republican industrialist John Raese, who lost his bid for U.S. Senate, says his campaign predictions about Sen. Joe Manchin are so far ringing true.
Raese said Thursday that Manchin, a Democrat, "flip flopped" throughout the campaign, often taking a conservative bent on issues.
But Raese doesn't think those campaign positions have withstood the new senator's first three weeks in Washington.
"If you're going to be a rubber stamp, I think you're going to be a rubber stamp, I guess," Raese said in a telephone interview.
Raese also doubts he will run for governor as some have speculated he might. The Morgantown businessman has lost four statewide elections - three Senate races and a governor's race - and is tired.
"I've run four statewide elections, and I've never been successful, and I think this last time resonated with me," Raese said. "I never say never to anything, but at this point I'm worn out."
Manchin won the Senate race by 10 points.
At times, the governor and self-described centrist adopted some seemingly Republican positions, using "Obamacare" - the GOP label for health care reform - in an advertisement and, during the same now-famous ad, shooting a hole in the cap-and-trade bill.
Raese took credit for pushing Manchin to the right during the campaign but said it was all for naught.
"When I look at what he does and not what he says, I don't think I put him much between a rock and a hard spot," Raese said.
"I think he's going to do much what we predicted he would do. He will sort of march to that tune."
And that tune is one piped by Democratic President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Raese said.
He criticized Manchin's vote for the Food Safety Modernization Act, portraying it as a vote to regulate farmers. Supporters of the bill said it would reduce hazards in the American food supply. Critics said it was overly burdensome, especially to small farmers.
He also knocked Manchin for voting against an amendment to the same bill that would have banned earmarks. Republicans want to ban the pet projects as symbolic way of curbing government spending.
And Raese took issue with Manchin's announcement that he could support tax increases, if only for millionaires. Manchin has said of millionaires, "I don't think it's going to kill you to pay a little more."
Raese said any tax increase is bad.