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. Meki60

    the only people that do support Obama are the deadbeats that are getting free money from the gov. Everyone knows he is a fraud.

    May 2, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  2. gary

    I hope the president remembers this when these guys come begging hat in hand for federal funding.

    May 2, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. mickey1313

    He pro business not pro people. He wants to continue the dirtiest form of energy production, and invest nothing in clean renewables

    May 2, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  4. ShawnDH

    Obama is destroying Mittens in the electoral college, which is all that matters. West Virginia is not in play, so who cares?

    May 2, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. mike

    who care? lol there are a ton of Republicans who arent sure is they will vote for so what was the point of this article?

    May 2, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  6. seanomatic

    Those clowns in W.V. wasn't going to vote for Obama anyway!

    May 2, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  7. DirkBurton

    While they want us to believe that they've "seen the light," it appears to be more like an attempt to preserve their own political careers. During the 2008 campaign Obama was very clear about his views on fossil fuels. Are we to believe that Tomblin and Manchin didn't hear the message then? The 100% increase in gasoline prices is simply proof that we've gotten what Obama promised. I say it's too late to recant. Because they supported Obama despite his energy stance, Tomblin and Manchin share the blame for what Obama's policies have wrought. Throw them out along with the rest of the trash.

    May 2, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  8. Blue

    Just go ahead and join the GOP Party. We democrats do not like turn costs like you and the other siilly so-called democrat. Our party would be better off without you.

    May 2, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. Jason

    Wow, a long string of liberal comments here. To the one who noted private sector job growth. That is a myth. Obama is playing with the numbers and that is the truth. What the Department of Labor isn't counting is the people who have stopped looking for work. There is a large percentage of the unemployed who aren't eligible for unemployment insurance and have stopped looking for the work that isn't there. That is the thing about Barry and the Democrats they will lie, cheat and steal to get into office. When everything goes to hell, they hand you a pair of rose colored glasses and say, isn't everything great. Keep drinking the Kool-aid and being clueless about what is really going on.

    May 2, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. T'sah from Virginia

    Wow – it would be very embarrassing if these two DEMOCRATS lose WV and Obama wins it!!!

    May 2, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  11. Sorensen

    Does anybody with a brain care what Tomblin cares about?

    May 2, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  12. EricMD


    Settle down. Angryed is just a user name and that person's point is pretty clear.

    May 2, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  13. LJ

    What do you expect from West by God VA. Vote them out and bring in the new . We are in big trouble if the clown from the GOP get into office

    May 2, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  14. smallmouth6

    It's just cowardice. Afraid they might lose their s job rather than doing the right thing. Simple as that and getting old. And, May 1, by the way, should be a National Holiday. Way to go Obama and way to go to the brave military team that pulled off this historic feat.

    May 2, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  15. Mark

    @Chris Koffend –
    It seems like the GOP didn't get the message to 'start at an extreme position and then compromise.'

    May 2, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. ned

    There are a lot of democrats besides them that are unsure about Obama, as well as Republics and independents who voted for Obama. Not that he doesn't have his following, but he's lost some.

    May 2, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  17. Mike

    Gee many of you think that every Democrat should always vote with their party, just like many Republicans think their leaders should do the same.
    If that is the case why don't we just have one Dem and one Repub in congress since it doesn't matter how many you have if they alwasy vote along party lines.
    At least then we don't have to pay million upon millions in salaries and health care benefits and retirement packages to people who nothing more than a guaranteed vote for their party's platform.

    May 2, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  18. Wvazoe

    I live in wv. If my govenor and senator do not support Obama I will not support them.

    May 2, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  19. Sue

    "REAL" hope and change is coming in 2012--Mitt Romney!!

    May 2, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  20. sam111

    These two have a lot in common. They both have an IQ equal to their individual ages and waist measurements: 55, 55, and 55! And they both are likely to have the same DNA.

    May 2, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. jennifer in Houston

    Wooo West Virginia.. my mentors.. NOT. Who care what these cretins think.

    May 2, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  22. tom

    Being a West Viginian it is obvious that the people running WV and Ky are fools. They both are holding on to a product that is harmful and fighting to protect both coal and tobacco. Coal will be needed for many years but both WV and Ky need to be working towards an alternative.

    May 2, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  23. gg

    bush,cheney and company ran the country,s visa card up ,building infrastructure,and embassy,refinery,s and so on after they payed billions to blow them up ,with a lie.obama ran it up trying to save america,romney says he,ll fix the economy by doing the opposite of obama,isn,t that what bush did,i don,t think america could withstand another crash and burn goverment

    May 2, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  24. Walter

    Oh those laughable libs. If any one dares even suggest they don't support the left's candidate, they're not a democrat. Trust me, there are a lot more like Tomblin. With true unemployment rate of nearly 15% how could anyone but the hypnotized far left vote for Obama.

    May 2, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Obama has screwed West Virginia with his anti-coal initiatives. WV politicians would be stupid to support him. BTW I am from NY

    May 2, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
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