Second West Virginia Dem unsure about Obama
May 2nd, 2012
11:32 AM ET
3 years ago

Second West Virginia Dem unsure about Obama

(CNN) – West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat, said in an interview published Wednesday he's unsure if he'll vote for President Barack Obama in the upcoming general election.

Tomblin is the second prominent Democrat from West Virginia to express doubts about voting for Obama. Sen. Joe Manchin said in mid-April he may not cast a ballot for Obama in November, citing the effect the president's economic policies have had on his constituents.

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In an interview with the Charleston, West Virginia, "Daily Mail," Tomblin expressed similar concerns.

"President Obama has apparently made it his mission to drive the backbone of West Virginia's economy, coal and the energy industry, out of business," Tomblin said. "That will not only hurt thousands of West Virginia families, it will destroy the economic fabric of our state."

Mitt Romney, Obama's likely GOP rival in the general election, would also enact policies harmful to West Virginians, Tomblin said.

"His policies will put more burdens on West Virginia families who are simply trying to make ends meet," Tomblin said of Romney.

Manchin and Tomblin are Democrats in a largely conservative state – West Virginia last voted for a Democrat in a presidential election in 1996. Both politicians have staked out independent positions that often put them at odds with other members of their party.

Manchin was one of about a dozen Democrats to side in a March vote with Republicans on the Keystone XL pipeline. He voted against both parties' bills to raise the federal government's debt ceiling in the heated showdown last summer.

Tomblin bucked Obama in March by suing the Environmental Protection Agency over a new rule he says inhibits jobs creation by putting restrictions on coal mining, one of the state's largest industries.

Tomblin won a special election in October to replace Manchin as West Virginia's governor. Manchin himself won a special election to replace the late Sen. Robert Byrd, who at the time of his death was the longest serving member of Congress in history.

Both Tomblin and Manchin face re-election in November for full terms in their respective offices.

A spokesman for Tombin's re-election campaign said the governor was "absolutely" still a Democrat.

"He was expressing an opinion when asked," Chris Stadelman said.

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Filed under: 2012 • West Virginia
soundoff (332 Responses)
  1. Pander Bear

    West Virginia sells tee shirts that read "At least we're not as bad as Mississippi". Who cares what this Hill William has to say.

    May 2, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. Sandy

    So he's running from Obama because he doesn't think the people of Virginia would vote for him if he embraced Obama. Wasn't a blue dog democrat just defeated in another state election? I don't think that bodes well for Mr. Tomblin. Defeat the Blue Dogs!

    May 2, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. ty

    wow..so these guys are in the senate and every day they are there they see the GOP say no to EVERYTHING obama tries just so the GOp can have a political advantage and hey blame obama? wow...at elast they admit romney sucks...

    May 2, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. MTATL67

    A Democrat that will support unequal pay for women and the do nothing obstructionist agenda of Congressional Republicans – Interesting

    May 2, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. cali girl

    Good luck with your re-elections.
    Coal is a very useful energy product. Through the years many new and updated ways to cultivate it have come through. We should do what we can to protect the coal miners and make the environment better.

    May 2, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. wwf

    What some will not say to get re-elected. It would mean more if they said it and were not up for re-election.

    May 2, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. Sniffit

    Yawn. Two guys with the same industry to tapdance for in their clownshoes. Not suprising they would have the same strategy of trying to alienate themselves from sane energy policy to appease the corporations that will be buying the next governor and senator their seats.

    May 2, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  8. Babyboomer

    This must not be an election year for these 2 guys or I doubt very seriously they would be saying such things. Truth is, many people vote a solid Dem or Rep. ticket. Therefore as the White House goes, so does the Senate, House and many local races. WV folks aren't the only ones who've suffered but the past few years have been the fall out from the Bush administration. I'm sick to death of people saying President Obama is to blame. One thing is for sure, Bush took credit for the good economy Clinton left him. (That is until he destroyed it.) How can it not work the other way around... BTW, more has gotten fixed in the past three years than any Rep. expected, given the fact that they have attempted to block every single road to recovery for this country. Still we rise...

    May 2, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. Four and The Door

    "President Obama has apparently made it his mission to drive the backbone of West Virginia's economy, coal and the energy industry, out of business," Tomblin said. "That will not only hurt thousands of West Virginia families, it will destroy the economic fabric of our state."
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    This is true across America. The Obama Administration has played politics with the huge part of our economy that is the energy industry. This industry is one of America's largest employers and absolutely America's largest taxpayer. November results will be the message of Accountability in so many ways...

    Romney 2012

    May 2, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  10. Robert jay

    Well if we look at the living standards of WVA and then consider a stupid statement like his it's appears WVA only has Republican represenation parading as Democrats. I'm sure if we cust backon education / let the infrastucture fall apart / give the few wealthy some tax breaks / destroy teh EPA the "Democratic" senator would be happy!

    May 2, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. Ramesh Shrestha

    These infidels are denouncing their own just for the sake of cheap political gain. Why don't they just quit the Democratic party and join the Good Old Party?

    May 2, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. Richard Courtney

    It really shouldn't come as a surprise that Manchin and Tomblin have stated publicly what they have said many times in private. It is a testament of the state of politics in WV. For years we've seen the erosion of the Democratic Party, morphing into a carbon copy of the Republican Party. West Virginia is still struggling with civil rights. These statements also illustrate the strangle hold the extraction industry has on politics in WV. In closing, we no longer have any Democrats to vote for.

    May 2, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. Dr. Knowitall

    Obama is nothing more than a communist trying to break freedom. His "rule" by executive order must come to an end.

    May 2, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. Richard Courtney

    It really shouldn't come as a surprise that Manchin and Tomblin have stated publicly what they have said many times in private. It is a testament of the state of politics in WV. For years we've seen the erosion of the Democratic Party, morphing into a carbon copy of the Republican Party.

    May 2, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    Pander Bear

    West Virginia sells tee shirts that read "At least we're not as bad as Mississippi". Who cares what this Hill William has to say.
    ------------

    LOL. Minnesota Dem's ought to try that with a "We thank our lucky charms we're not Wisconsin" tee-shirts!

    May 2, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. Dr. Knowitall

    "A Democrat that will support unequal pay for women"
    You mean Obama ? I hear he pays unfairly in his administration.

    May 2, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    "President Obama has apparently made it his mission to drive the backbone of West Virginia's economy, coal and the energy industry, out of business," Tomblin said. "That will not only hurt thousands of West Virginia families, it will destroy the economic fabric of our state."
    ==============================================================================================

    Well, this is exactly what you get when you put an elite European style socialist in the Whitehouse who claims he knows better than you what is best for you, your state and your country. He's doing the same thing to oil companies. How many millions of people do these companies employ directly and indirectly? Doesn't matter. You've been desinated obsolete industry by a government bureaucrat. Very bad luck for millions of employees and their families.

    And Obama and the rest of the clueless Democrats/socialist/"progressive bankrupters/communists wonder where the jobs are and blame others for the destruction they bring to the economy. WAKE UP AMERICA!!! YOUR company or job will be next.

    May 2, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. Four and The Door

    Babyboomer
    ... BTW, more has gotten fixed in the past three years than any Rep. expected, given the fact that they have attempted to block every single road to recovery for this country.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________
    But you are leaving out 2009 and 2010 when Obama has free reign and was granted every wish on his list by Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic House and Harry Reid in his supermajority fillibuster-proof Democratic Senate. These were the worst years of failed policy, skyrocketing unemployment and national debt.

    It was the wise American voter in 2010 who sent Republicans in huge numbers to Washington to stop the national death spiral. They did. Now it is time to finish the shellacking and get the American federal government back in control and working for the people and not the blind philosophical ambitions of liberal politicians.

    May 2, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Sniffit
    Yawn. Two guys with the same industry to tapdance for in their clownshoes. Not suprising they would have the same strategy of trying to alienate themselves from sane energy policy to appease the corporations that will be buying the next governor and senator their seats.
    =============================================================================================
    Well, there you have the response of leftists to thousands of people losing their jobs and their homes along with it. "Yawn." Well, if you don't find that response acceptable America, then VOTE THEM OUT!! Their far left political agenda is more important than your job and family.

    May 2, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. MaryM

    lol, Earl Ray Tomblin, bye bye. Dont let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.

    May 2, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. vic , nashville ,tn

    This is news for CNN, I wonder except “Starting Point” others shows rating are in? Mark. Starting Point gave etch sketch Romney

    May 2, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I guess this guy doesn't know Senator Joe Lieberman and Senator Arlen Specter so let me suggest he has a talk with them because he certainly isn't ready to enter "the big tent of politics".

    May 2, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I guess this guy doesn't know Senator Joe Lieberman and Senator Arlen Specter so let me suggest he has a talk with them because he certainly isn't ready to enter "the big tent of politics" . I suggest he sit on the sidelines and wait to see what happens to Manchin.

    May 2, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "But you are leaving out 2009 and 2010 when Obama has free reign and was granted every wish on his list by Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic House and Harry Reid in his supermajority fillibuster-proof Democratic Senate."

    You mean the filibuster-proof majority that was lost with the passing of Ted Kennedy in August 2009 and his months of convalescence and treatment prior to that? I'd call you an outright liar, but I have a feeling you actually believe the rancid guano you're flinging.

    May 2, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. Roger

    They are simply looking out for the interests of their state. It is unfortunate that the Administration's policies have and will be hurting the state of West Virginia. Come next election it will be the voters of West Virginia casting ballots for their positions, not the Administration.

    May 2, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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