WASHINGTON—Alleging that residents of his home state were just looking for a handout, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) claimed Wednesday that West Virginians were too deficient in character and grit to deserve a $15 minimum wage. “Frankly, Mountain Staters have never shown the work ethic or drive necessary to merit $15 an hour, so what makes them think they have any right to that kind of money?” said Manchin, who added that he hadn’t gone to Washington to bring home benefits to constituents who lacked the moral fiber, backbone, and talent required to provide for themselves. “If the people of West Virginia want to earn a living wage, they need to pound the pavement until they get a job that pays one. Look at me: I went out there, found work in the U.S. Senate, and became a multimillionaire. So don’t tell me a person can’t work his way up.” Manchin went on to observe that the least West Virginians could do is take enough personal responsibility to vote out the legislators in Charleston who set the state minimum wage at a measly $8.75 per hour.