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. kirby

    Hope and Change already has come, those leaving are those who can't deal with change! Obama 2012..!

    May 2, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. TommyTT

    And so it begins. The Democrats, when they finally have a chance to lead, start sniping at each other and jostling for power instead. Sigh. Politically I favor the left, but it burns me when they shoot themselves in the foot like this.

    May 2, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. Jack

    Well WV, when the Republicans do away with all the education, social and health care money let's see how well you will fare then. You'va already polluted your state beyond repair and the Republicans will give you nothing to help you.

    May 2, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. independent

    People who will say anything to get re-elected.

    May 2, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. The Contentious Otter

    Who really cares what a bunch of West Virginia hillbillies have to say. The only reason the guy running West Virginia still calls himself a Democrat is he's still waiting for the Pony Express to deliver him the memo that the Klan runs with Conservative Republicans now.

    May 2, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    And the big question is will Romney get their endorsement? Will they do some TV ads for Romney? Yes, I can see them now. "Don't let Obama do to your state, what he has done to ours. Paid for by Democrats that aren't Braindead"

    May 2, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Jack - Well WV, when the Republicans do away with all the education, social and health care money let's see how well you will fare then
    =============================================================================================
    Obama has already acted to take away their jobs, homes and future. Any wonder why they won't vote for Obama? If he had done the same to you, would YOU vote for him?

    May 2, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. Terry

    Trust me voters, I will not vote for President Obama if you vote for me. In my neighborhood, old Earl Ray would be told that he has crap for brains if he thinks he can tell a lie like that just to get my vote.

    May 2, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. dctwmt

    It's WEST VIRGINIA for God's sake.......jeez......

    May 2, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. DC Johnny

    Here we go – finally someone who understands that their demographic (member of the Democrat Party, in this case) is individually hurt with this president in office.

    Hopefully enough women will realize that our crumbling economy is more important than false promises of free birth control, which will only increase costs for all to accommodate it.

    Hopefully enough minorities will realize that the rhetoric and special handouts and welfare afforded them in urban areas pales in comparison to the benefit a real job would be, if the government would let the private sector breathe long enough to hire them.

    Hopefully enough legal immigrants will see through the lies that this president cares about immigration reform, and will admit that what makes them naturalized American citizens is more important than what makes them a unique segregated portion of us.

    May 2, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  11. dcase20

    What a politician! This is exactly the kind of person who needs to be voted out. Personally, I don't care who he votes for. It's the political calculating that leads one to "say anything to get re-elected" that I can't stand.

    May 2, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. DC Johnny

    The Greedy Old PIgs declared class war on US!
    "Everybody knows Obama is a failure, most Dems tow their party line though and won't admit it, at least this guy has enough of a sack to say what is so."

    Another pathetic fact-free snipe from a GOBP cult follower. If you want to see what a truly massive failure looks like, pay attention to how Bush and the GOBP destroyed America. Rmoney is GWB V.2 minus the compassion and public speaking skills. And you're moronic enough to want more of that? America can't handle any more GOBP abuse.

    ============================================

    And where are your facts to support that Bush and the GOP (clever use of OB in there) destroyed America, Mr. Almighty Fact Requirer? And when you provide your history, be sure to include (A) how these things directly relate to Bush and the GOP, and (B) how similar destructive policies did NOT come from Pelosi, Clinton, and the Democratic Congressional leadership.

    Looking forward to it. Thanks.

    May 2, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. Lardoggy

    Obama is a loser,I know this now!Its all about the money and power,to think this is what libs live for,talk the talk but have no walk!

    May 2, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. JD

    lol, nothing like bellyacheing republicans! lol. West Virginia is one of the poorest states there is. They are ran by politicians that have ruined it. These 2 that are cowards and turning to the other party shouldn't be reelected anyhow. In God We Trust, not ask a Mormon!

    May 2, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. Ol' Yeller

    So, there goes the inbred hillbilly vote. What next, some redneck NASCAR moron is going to make a headline by not voting for Obama?
    I'm not voting for Romney, where's my Headline?

    May 2, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. I'M OUTTA HERE

    Tomblin and Manchin are a couple of cowards,.. they rode the Obama wave in 2008,.. now they're running scared that the tide might have turned. Traitors,.. Obama will do just fine without your stinking votes,.. and West Virginia will always be a wasteland.

    May 2, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. Slamore

    Interesting to view the comments but not surprising. This story- what drives a politician. If it is electability and people think this is simply about being re-elected- well, that's a no brainer. What I want to know is do they feel this change deep within their heart or are they simply taking cover to get re-elected and then revert back? Personally, I would not vote for these guy be me a Dem or Repub or Ind no matter what because I do not know their game pan and sincerity.

    May 2, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  18. Greg

    All of the crowing Republicans didn't apparently read the full article, where they blast Romney as burdening families. These statements are all about sucking up to big coal.

    May 2, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  19. Ol' Yeller

    @Dc Johnny- It is pretty obvious you could be brought a video tape of Bush saying something like.... "Wall Street just kind'a got drunk, heh... heh..." ; and you would discount it. The facts are already there for you to see if you would only open your eyes. Bush comes into office with a Surplus (thanks to Democratic President). Bush enters 2 wars without funding them. Bush further erodes the revenues by continuing the supply side economics lie. Bush leaves office and the country is in shambles... worst recession since the depression (and I think some people were just not calling it a depression because they didn't want Americans to panisc and make it worse). He did not create one net job during his entire two terms. Worst terrorist attack in the history of the US on Bush's watch. America trashed the Geneva agreement on Bush's watch. Bush eroded your civil rights wit hthe Patriot Act. Bush stood by 5 days while an American City drowned.... If you don't see the facts, no one on here can help you....

    May 2, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  20. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    "Hopefully enough women will realize that our crumbling economy is more important than false promises of free birth control, which will only increase costs for all to accommodate it."

    Another big lie from a braindead hatewing zombie. The recent arguments in DC have been about coverage for women who buy health insurance.

    May 2, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  21. mike

    Who knew the biggest change would be the GOP.

    May 2, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    They should call themselves Republicans...the reason why the GOP is so effective is because they stick together. These fool has one selfiish interest and ready to throw everyone else in the State under the bus. Shame on both of you for not putting the Country first....

    May 2, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  23. The Greedy Old Pigs declared class war on US!

    "And where are your facts to support that Bush and the GOP (clever use of OB in there) destroyed America, Mr. Almighty Fact Requirer? And when you provide your history, be sure to include (A) how these things directly relate to Bush and the GOP, and (B) how similar destructive policies did NOT come from Pelosi, Clinton, and the Democratic Congressional leadership."

    You're kidding, right? 80% of "Obama's deficit" is the result of Bush/GOBP policies. It's all over the internet in case you haven't seen it. Bush and his GOBP thugs also looked the other way and under-regulated Wall Street which led to our economic meltdown. And the seeds were sown before that with the GOBP pushed repeal of Glass-Steagall (yes, Clinton did sign and deserves blame as well). Going back further we have the crazy Ronnie years where insane Ayn Rand myths and the now disproven "supply-side/trickle down" fantasies took root. Need I go on? And good luck trying to tie most of that crazy manure to the Dems.

    Your welcome.

    May 2, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  24. Ryder

    So they want to change parties because they can't get subsidies for the dirtiest form of energy production there is? Perhaps they can find a write-in candidate who is in favor of contaminating water with mercury?

    May 2, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  25. Mac Smith Texas

    Another weak- kneed politician failing to close ranks. That's why the Republicans are always castigating our president. This is the sort of a lack of political will which fuels the idiot rhetorical fire against President Obama that prevails in this country.

    May 2, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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