Second West Virginia Dem unsure about Obama
May 2nd, 2012
11:32 AM ET
6 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. sally

    What else would you expect from West Virginia, particularly the leadership. Duh~ They're so rich in that state they need a high-roller like Romney to stick it to them even more!

    May 2, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. Frank

    To DCJohnny and others who still think this current President has not done enough in the face of constant GOP opposition (including the 60-vote "supermajority now required in the Senate), please think on these two facts:
    1. The US lost over 4 Million jobs during Bush's last year in office,
    2. We have now had 25 straight months of private sector job growth.
    The many other facts you ignore have been raised by others.

    May 2, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. Sue

    As if either West Virginia "Democrat" is actually a Democrat. Manchin is an embarrassment to the party, especially as a follow up to Sen. Byrd. He is just pandering to the extreme and so be it. The party doesn't need posers like them anyway. The Democrats need to get back to being Democrats.

    May 2, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  4. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Tomblin and Manchin are true patriots. They are putting their state and country ahead of party politics. They know, in their heart, that four more years of Obama will destroy both their sate and their country. These are two men that deserve everybody's respect and support for using their brain and not blindly following the rest of their braindead party.

    May 2, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  5. Frank

    I am not sure how anyone can detect class warfare (except by increasing taxes on the rich like me, which is fine-we are talking 3.4%!) in this Administration. The rich won the class war a very long time ago. Class warfare is hardly the same thing as fundamental fairness and the greatest good for the greatest number. Nobody using such a term can point to any damage caused by pointing out the obvious: it might be good for Big Oil and Big Corp and Big Pharmato pay taxes (like General Electric, which has paid zero taxes several times). They can certainly afford huge crowds of lobbyists! They are the class warfare soldiers, not the Democratic Party.

    May 2, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. Olaf Big

    Sure, if Obama looks like a shoo-in you will vote for him because you wand to ride his coattails. If he is in trouble, you won't, because you are trying to survive in a swing state. Very principled, of course.

    May 2, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. angryed

    Ha, Ha,....well Mr Tomblin...welcome to the Obama Doubters Club !!

    May 2, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  8. Chris Koffend

    Wow, interesting seeing Democrats (ie. you posters) castigating these guys for being honest and not blindly promoting policies that are counter to those they have sworn to serve (the people of WV). That's the problem with our partisan system. Democrats think all the Dems ideas and bills are great while all the Reps bills are evil, and vice versa. Having worked in politics, I can tell you both parties try to start from extreme positions (that even they themselves wouldn't support) in an effort to allow for compromise. But the brain dead believers in the stump speeches aren't smart enough to recognize this. You all buy the BS/KoolAide hook, line and sinker. Says more about you than the trumped up extremist political statements.

    May 2, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. Sean D

    @ Mac Smith.
    Actually, President Obama does just fine fueling the fire himself. To steal a line from one of his biggest fans... Stupid is as stupid does.

    May 2, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    @angryed: "Ha, Ha,....well Mr Tomblin...welcome to the Obama Doubters Club !!"

    Ha Ha welcome to the illiterate Americans club! (Seriously, dude, you don't know how to spell the adjective form of "anger"?)

    May 2, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  11. Ol' Yeller

    Now hold on just one second here... is this guy really a Dem or just a sheep in wolve's clothing. Let's look at the facts...
    The guy is obviously inbred.
    He's waffling like crazy.
    He's wearing a red tie.
    He's talking to Christie.
    He is obviously ignorant of policy.
    He blames Obama.
    He doesn't take any responsibility for his failures as the Executive leader of his state.
    He's looking to lose in November.
    He's pushing FOX News talking points.
    I say we got us a die in the wool Republican here.... shows all the signs.

    May 2, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. Gurgyl

    Just idiot and need to debar from party, bribed GOP thugs.

    May 2, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. Rachel

    Just add another nail to the obama re-election coffin.

    May 2, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  14. Maude

    What a bafoon. Needs therapy.

    May 2, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. Daveinil

    Quick, put him in a witness protection program before Debbie Wassermann Schultz comes after him. This is what happens when Obama doesn't share his campaign contributions with the Congressional campaign funds.

    May 2, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. CAWinMD

    @Democrat Class Warfare - will these two still be "true patriots" if they vote for Obama? After all, they didn't say they wouldn't, they just said they are considering not voting for Obama. As for four more years of Obama destroying the country, we survived 8 years of Bush, I'm sure the country will survive 8 years of Obama. Whether you can handle it is a completely different issue...

    May 2, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  17. Thinkergal

    Oh, come on. Just think how bad things will be if Romney (horrors) were elected.

    May 2, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. Victor Hayes

    Well since you believe this . . . I cheer the President in trying to destroy your state and your constituents. Obviously, the President believes the welfare of the Earth as a whole is more important than the State of West Virginia. West Virgina needs to accept the fact that there are cleaner fuel alternatives available and their economy needs to adapt to the changes or be left behind in the stone ages.

    May 2, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  19. carlyt1

    This is why Republicans make inroads with their radical agendas. Because somehow pseudo Dems like this get elected. They should be voted out with all right wing nuts so that the country can move on.

    May 2, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  20. KCAW

    What do you expect from progressive W VA

    May 2, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  21. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    CAWinMD – @Democrat Class Warfare – will these two still be "true patriots" if they vote for Obama? After all, they didn't say they wouldn't, they just said they are considering not voting for Obama.
    They would not be if they voted for Obama because they will then be violating the oath of office they took to represent the people of their state. Obama and his EPA have essentially declared war on the people of WV by destroying their livlihood. How could ANY WV politician support that?

    I'm sure the country will survive 8 years of Obama.
    Really??? You think the federal government can support over $20 TRILLION in debt??? And that is not country the TRILLIONS Obamacare could add to it. So how well is Greece doing these days? You think we'll fair better? I won't take that risk.

    May 2, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  22. kel

    I'm not surprised. However; this registered Independent is voting for Obama. I'm not fooled by the crap the Repubs are putting out. Republicans are stuck on this "class warfare" thing. We, the middle class, lost long time ago. It's about fairness. And please get off the "Fox Juice".

    May 2, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  23. Ol' Yeller

    I would bet you $10,000.00 that both these buffoons will singing the praises of of President Obama if he is showing strong poll numbers in October, but I'm a middle class American and we just don't have money like that to throw around (maybe 10 bucks).
    I'm voting for the guy who understands and utilizes Keynsian economics... tried and true for centuries. And not the idiot who wants t ouse the nudge, nudge, wink, wink, supply side economics... say no more!
    He will bet any of you 10,000 dollars it works (for him).

    May 2, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  24. Democrats with a Functioning Brain

    Manchin and Tomblin are not alone. There are many of us in the Democrat Party who fear reprisal from the far left radicals that have taken over the Democrat Party. The Democrat Party is not what it claims to be. It has been infiltrated and turned from within. We will make ourselves known in the voting booths of America this November.

    May 2, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  25. yuri

    A bunch of backstabbing brutes!

    May 2, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
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