Second West Virginia Dem unsure about Obama
May 2nd, 2012
11:32 AM ET
2 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. gaucho420

    Jobs over health, as always.

    May 2, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  2. Hawk in texas

    Dinos. that is what these two yahoo's are. they are screaming about the coal companys being good for their state. they are all for deregulation. they are letting the coal companys destroy west virginia with the mountian top removal system. polutting rivers and lakes with mercury and arsenic, whole towns have been moved or destroyed by big coal. these two are really republicans.

    May 2, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  3. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    He may still be a democrat, but a spinless one. Doesn't wnat to do what is right, but what will get him the vote, even if Coal mining and burning is a dirty business. He would never get my vote....to weak! Thank goodness we have had political support for not advertising tobacco smoking on TV. Nothing to be gained from smoking, but a lot to lose, for everyone! Sure people had to go find something else to make their dollar, but then that is more productive.

    May 2, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  4. CHUCK

    I hear all the doubts talking about how bad a job President Obama is doing. So tell who should I vote for? Romney has nothing in common with me. Ok he is successful businessman, I am not in business, I am just a man going to work day after day. This guy is rich and he could not understand what minorities, women, and the middle class are going though in this country. What can he do for me? Nothing. I will not vote for him. I will take my chances with President Obama.

    May 2, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  5. Gerry

    These two West Va. has beens need to move their two votes over to Mitt.. Mitt's gonna need them come November... And thank goodness these two wanna be's are gone.

    May 2, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  6. SA Wallick

    Finally joining the crowd huh. Lots of US citizens doubt 0. More every day.

    May 2, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  7. GOP hate America

    no surprise tell me a real liberal is doubting and that will lend to some credibility but he is just another GOP in drag.

    May 2, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  8. Ron

    I'm a native from the great state of WV, born and raised a true Democrat. I get sick when I see what the Democratic party has become in WV, "Republican Lite" would be a better description of the party.

    May 2, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  9. pprty

    Obama is right to scrutinize the coal and energy industry for harm to the environment. You would be the first to criticize him if he didn't.

    May 2, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  10. td

    Hey mr tomblin why not find an industry for west virgina that doesn't have an inevitable ending? Maybe you should focus on cleaning up WV meth and educational problems?

    May 2, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  11. CBR

    When they were running for office they sure wanted support for their campaigns. Now that they are in office the wish ti disassociate themselves. Don't believe I would vote for them. You cannot have it both ways.

    May 2, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  12. Larry L

    @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.
    -----------------------------------------------------------–
    You are so correct! Nobody should be shocked to discover a very few politicians too gutless and lacking in the true Democratic ideology to risk defeat at the polls. Weasels exist in both parties.

    This reminds me of the saying "If you want to live like a Republican vote for a Democrat!". Folks in West Virginia need to take a hard look at reality. The Republican Party is controlled by the ultra-rich fat-cats who need the votes of the middle-class and even the poor. The 1% isn't enough to get elected. To get those votes they must create an illusion based on bigotry, racism, lies, and fear. These thing cost them nothing and they energize the under-educated masses. Think about it...

    May 2, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. Mark

    Aww poor baby was probably due to get some Keystone Pipeline cashed funneled his way by the Republicrooks. When Obama didn't fall for it, I guess Tomblin's 'quid pro quo' cash also fell though. Tomblin can vote for Cheesy Grits Romney and be on the losing end of the election if he wants.

    May 2, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  14. Lynn

    What do they think the Republicans are going to do for their state? The recession began before President Obama took office. President Obama was handed a full plate and has done his best as evidenced by the employment numbers continuing to go up every month. The Republicans refuse to take that into account and I am very surprised at and disgusted by these two West Virginia Democrats. Maybe these two Democrats need to become Republicans. Then they can gut the economy along with the middle and lower class, they can cut education, the EPA, they can raise taxes on the poor and middle class and lower or eliminate taxes on the rich. They can continue their war on women and gays and anyone else they choose. Everyone in West Virginia needs to vote Democrat if they value their lives. Republicans have always looked after the rich.

    May 2, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  15. jk

    Could someone please explain the economic policies that these two (and others) are not happy with. Is it the bailouts? All economists and wall streeters think that the bailout was even more successful than anyone predicted. No one expected GM to be back as the #1 auto maker in the world, in such a short time. Is it the affordable healthcare act? The ecenomic impact of this has yet to be determined and it has not even hit anyone yet. Regulations? What new regulations has he implemented that have put the huge burden on businesses the are being complained about? And exactly how are they being 'job killers'? His reduction in federal taxes? Yes, he has reduced federal taxes on small businesses and most individuals since taking office. The increase in government spending? First of all, government spending is controlled by congress and those increases can be traced to ss, Medicare, and Medicaid which have had an increase in costs due to both the babyboomer retirements and the increase in assistants for those impacted by the recession. What regulations and what is the burden($) imposed by those regulations vs. the benefit those regulations provide

    May 2, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  16. Aheadofu

    Here is a quote for White House:
    To become truly great, one must stand with people, not above them!

    May 2, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  17. WatchOne

    Another idiot just saying whatever it takes to get re-elected. Move over the otherside and be done. You never was a Dem in the first place!

    May 2, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  18. pauleky

    These guys are Republican-lite, not true Democrats. It's time the Dems organize and throw these Blue Dogs out (it's already happening, but it needs to be expanded).

    May 2, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  19. Steve Williams

    So, two blue dog conservative democrats won't vote for the president......SO WHAT. He's still going to win.

    May 2, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Trust the Democrats to shoot themselves in the foot – again!

    May 2, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  21. Liz the First

    So does he think a repug would be better??? No real Democrat could vote for any rethug these days for anything, not even dogcatcher! No, Obama's not the perfect, water-walking savior folks projected onto him in '08. he's a good man doing the hardest job in the world to the best of his ability against intractible opposition from the folks whose mess we charged him to clean up. this guy sounds like a DINO. he needs to switch parties if he thinks a republican could in ANY way be better than Obama. he doesn't deserve to be able to call himself a Democrat.

    May 2, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  22. unc dig

    HEre you go! What these guys are saying is there is a lack of leadership from our current president. Obama has a private agenda that does not benefit America & Americans. These latest Dem saying they wont vote for Obama are saying what most Americans are saying. Obama & the rest of the Washington politicians need to take heed that America is tired of the same old Washigton games. America wants & demand strong leadership – or else. It doesnt matter if you are rep or dem – we must demand strong leadership that works together to make America strong & prosperous again.

    May 2, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  23. TomNPitt

    These two "democrats" need to be gone. If you can't count on them during crunch time; you won't be able to count on them at anytime! They're Republicans posing as democrats to pander the moderate independent votes. Byrd must be spinning in his grave!!

    May 2, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  24. Brownie1986

    To Frank: This country now has the dubious honor of having the fewest percentage of people working since 1997. That is a fact!

    May 2, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  25. Peter Q Wolfe

    Neither of these WV pseudo democrats want to protect their voting base cause of the EPA demonstrates the cancerous nature of dealing with coal and petroleum means negative affects on personal health and well being. Neither of these guys understand about the environment and the affects that the Keystone pipeline would have on aquafiers underground water supply under Nebraska and numerous other states like Texas could drastically affected permeniently perhaps. Neither of these guys like Rick Perry understand the rational behind some regulations on the environment like the 2010 oil spills lessons that we as a naton must learn and especially about the Keystone pipelines harmful risk on our ecology and sustainable economic practices. By the way, before anybody hates that I'm an political independent with a track record for Mccain but this times its Obama 2012 as a future middle class tax payer as well!

    May 2, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
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