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. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Gee... I thought the Democrats were trying to sell the American people a snake oil sales pitch of being FOR the middle class? I guess that only applies if you're not on their hit lists of undesireable businesses.

    Let's see, there's coal companies, and all the rail employees that haul the coal and the power plants that burn the coal and all businesses that support this industry and it's employees supplying equipment, etc.

    Then there are the evil oil companies and the refineries and gas stations and evil car ownwers that use the evil gasoline produced from the evil oil.

    And of course the evil health insurance companies that must be driven out of business so the leftists can fulfill their dream of substandard government run and paid for healthcare for all.

    And those evil bankers and wall street investors that actually go to work to make money. Evil, evil, evil. They all must go.

    Are you starting to get the picture about what Obama and the Democrats are all about????

    Democrat Class Warfare – Destroying the economy, destroying the country

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

    Have to laugh, if this guy was a Republican saying this about a Pres Bush the NYT and the rest of the media would call him Corageous and a Maverick. This is just the beginning. You will see dems by the dozens defecting from what they correctly see as a flawed candidate with a failed record who has nothing to run on.

    May 2, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. Silence DoGood

    People who think for themselves – that is what makes America what it is.

    Obama has broken many of his liberal promises or made them ambiguous (today – I am getting troops out of Afghanistan but maybe not). Romney is worse of course. But both are cut from the same big-business / military approach.

    Between the two I would want Obama, but the People, the 99%, need to let him know they are disappointed.

    I am voting third party out of conscience. You know more people do that every year where I am. I say kick them all out.

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

    "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."

    Never mind the fact that I was yawning at another report of a politician toeing the coroprate line for dirty-energy industry giants, not at the unemployment and economic issues. But hey, don't let the fact that you're mischaracterizing what other people are saying stop you, GOPers...it never has before.

    May 2, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. Tired of the republican lies

    It figures...look at the type of people he hangs out with...

    May 2, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. paul

    get rid of them 2 America. What kind of stupid sounding mess is that. Then vote for Romney and see where Virgina goes then.

    May 2, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. PaulCat

    .......... and he's walking with Christie. Tomblin, you made a big mistake.

    May 2, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. livingston

    One person in West Virginia has decided he is unsure of his vote and I'm supposed to care in Pennsylvania because why? I don't know about there but in Pennsylvania we make up our own minds who to vote for. It really doesn't matter who our elected officials vote for. Anyway is there really any democrats in West Virginia that aren't really closet republicans?

    May 2, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. sonny chapman

    If W. Va. folks think that the economic policies of Mitt Romney will improve their lives, Karl Rove's "demonize the opposition" has worked.

    May 2, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "And of course the evil health insurance companies that must be driven out of business so the leftists can fulfill their dream of substandard government run and paid for healthcare for all."

    Right, because if we're gonna have a substandard, disfunctional health care system, it's gotta be private industry messing it all up like it is now....not the gubmint, daggumit!

    "Are you starting to get the picture about what Obama and the Democrats are all about????"

    You mean responsible regulation of industry to prevent abuses and dangers to public health and the environment, reining in unnecessary subsidies for industries making record-setting profits despite a global economic crisis, and attempting to lay the foundation for progression towards cleaner, less dangerous, sustainable energy sources to replace the filthy, dangerous and FINITE energy sources upon which the world is currently and irresponsibly dependent? Yeah...I think I have the picture. Perhaps you would too if your tinfoil hat hadn't slipped down over yoru eyes.

    May 2, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. Kimberly

    nothing like trying to save your own behind in a state that is one of the poorest in the country. Sad that the people of this state continue to vote for republicans, KNOWING it is the reason they are so poor. Like most southern states led by republicans...sad indeed.

    May 2, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Sniffit - Never mind the fact that I was yawning at another report of a politician toeing the coroprate line for dirty-energy industry giants, not at the unemployment and economic issues. But hey, don't let the fact that you're mischaracterizing what other people are saying stop you, GOPers...it never has before.
    ===========================================================================================
    But the unemployement and economic devastation is the result of people like you and Obama and the far left policies. If you own the policies, YOU OWN THE CONSEQUENCES and in this case it is the devastation of thousands of jobs, homes and families. Party of the middle class my arse!. Party of far left political manure at any cost is more like it.

    May 2, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. Kimberly

    rob

    Have to laugh, if this guy was a Republican saying this about a Pres Bush the NYT and the rest of the media would call him Corageous and a Maverick. This is just the beginning. You will see dems by the dozens defecting from what they correctly see as a flawed candidate with a failed record who has nothing to run on.
    __________________________________________________________________
    LOL! Dems by the dozens... great line. You are correct, maybe a dozen or so, but I PROMISE you MILLIONS will vote our AWESOME president back in for 2nd term. ALSO, I am pretty sure this guy IS voting for Obama, just trying to save his tail in the red neck state.

    May 2, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. Data Driven

    Whatever. Look, these hillbilly states have Democratic politicians only because not every politician can be a Republican. Philosophically, there is no difference between a hillbilly Democrat and a Republican.

    May 2, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Marie MD

    WV? They are really dinos and I am not just talking about political parties I am talking dinosaurs as in extinct creatures!

    May 2, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. Island Jack

    Another politico in the pocket of Big Coal. No news here.

    May 2, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  17. PJ/TX

    "..the Obama Administration has played politics with the huge part of our economy that is the energy industry".
    ****
    Funny, since I just read an article dated April 12, 2012 that stated "coal demand is less in lieu of cheap natural
    gas". However, U.S. coal exports are soaring to heights not seen since 1991.
    In other words, the coal industry is making a fortune on its exports.
    The oil industry is making record profits.
    The natural gas industry is cheap because there is a glut.
    Has Governor Tomblin made sure the coal companies are obeying the laws and making their mines safer for
    the miners?

    May 2, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  18. skarphace

    rob: you have it backwards. If "this guy was a Republican saying this about a Pres Bush", as you put it, he would be criticised publicly by every GOP politician that could get his hands on a microphone, and would be labelled a RINO and would be out of a job his next session. Hopefully, the Dems react the same way and give him the boot as well.

    May 2, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    Lots of republican propaganda here, anyway, who wants dirty coal and gas fracking near their homes and the dirty oil in the keystone pipe line that's going to be exported anyway, ask pa.

    May 2, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. mcskadittle

    he would vote republican? that bs he is looking for a handout

    May 2, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. Karma6338

    Yeah, like Obama is gonna win West Virginia anyway. This is just another way for Dems in a Conservative state to keep their job. I'm sure Obama gave them permission to jump ship to save their own necks.

    May 2, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  22. WV born and raised

    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. Both candidates are really DINO's (Democrates in name only)

    May 2, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  23. HenryB

    This is so funny. This guy and Manchin are sooo worried about their jobs in redneck West Virginia that they have to protect themselves with their switch in votes. Did not surprise me. So much of Democratic "lockstep" arguments from the rabid right; that approach of voting in blocks is uniquely Republican.

    May 2, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  24. SKOKIE

    Be realsitic we will not be able to please all 50 states.

    May 2, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. Chumlee

    DINOs – change parties if you cannot support the Democratic Party's candidate President Obama.

    We have had enough with the fake party applications. Obviously, you could not with infyou were a Republican
    in West Virginia.

    Obama/Biden2012

    May 2, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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