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. DRod

    It's time for the Democratic Party to rid itself of these DINOs. We don't need Leiberman type politicians that say they lean Democratic but not when it counts.

    May 2, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. Independent Voters

    Vote him out of the office we dont need any Dem spying for the republican..

    May 2, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. Laverne

    When it is time for help from the DNC and dem fundraisers to try and help your re-election bid, dems should turn their back on your fat back! Would love to see how much republican support you get.........ummm probably none, you sir are done for!

    May 2, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. batjones

    Well it appears that Governor Tomblin is in favor of more coal mine disasters and against prosecuting safety violators like Massey Energy. If the politicians like Governor Tomblin would get out of the way, maybe the government would work a little better. We need to get the politicians out of our lives and keep the government bureaucrats who know the facts.

    May 2, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. timothy

    Coal baby Coal

    May 2, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Independent Voters - Vote him out of the office we dont need any Dem spying for the republican..
    ============================================================================
    Good plan! If you do this with all the Democrats not supporting Obama you'll be left with Reid and Pelosi.

    May 2, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. COlady

    As a native West Virginian, I can tell you that WV is not really a Blue State. They may call themselves Democrats, but in truth they are Republicans. Why they don't just make it official and change parties, I have never been able to figure out.

    May 2, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  8. Saboth

    Sometimes you have to look at it like this: Sure, it's great to have a job to put food on the table, but what good is food when the air, water and land is full of chemicals and our children and animals are dying from cancer?

    Just look at the wiped out fishing industry down South. Drill baby drill?

    May 2, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. AmericanSam

    Democrats protecting outdated industry. Hmm.

    May 2, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. Pat

    I guess he's 'feeling' that mormon money - but what else can you expect from a red state politician?

    May 2, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Pete

    It's either Democrates or nothing else,don't run in a party to get votes ,then stand against its president because they know he's right.DINOs ,ya just got to go over to your hypocritic side,the republicans.But ya know what,there's no guarantee that seat will be availible in November.So remember Pres Obama does,don't bite the political hand that feeds ya.You certainly don't want to be on the incumbents bad side,I wouldn't want to be,not during election year.He's very influential in the political circles on Capital Hill and most certainly you'd be outside looking in after November.Remember look before ya leap....

    May 2, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. Tom

    Please, have these guys vote for the other team. Then when O is in office for 2nd term, they can wait their turn in line for the snack bar.

    May 2, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. simp

    Really, West Virginia? Who give a rat's butt about these two idiots in offiice. President Obama does not need those inbred votes, REALLY? WV. this is so laughable

    May 2, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. Jim

    Dems should be allowed to honestly express opinions. If you want lock-step obedience, become a Rethug. WV is hurting, and they have good cause to gripe. However, they will be worse off under Flipper. As is so often the case in our history, it's the lesser of evils.

    May 2, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. Obamaisscared

    Smart Men.

    May 2, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. Sue

    Joe Manchin isn't exactly known to be all that astute, so one must assume that both Manchin and Tomblin are cut from the same cloth. Both deserve to be ostracized and banished from the Democratic Party!

    May 2, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    simp - Really, West Virginia? Who give a rat's butt about these two idiots in offiice. President Obama does not need those inbred votes, REALLY? WV. this is so laughable
    ==============================================================================================
    Wow, tell us how you REALLY feel! You're right, of course. It is ridiculous that these two Democrats that people elected to represent THEIR STATE would dare stick up for the people, the peoples jobs and future. They should of course fall into the Democrat lobotomy line and vote for 4 more years of economic destruction at the hands of Obama and the Democrats.

    May 2, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Hopefully, the Dems react the same way and give him the boot as well.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Don't count on it although God knows he's deserving of no less.
    This is a presidential election year and no the time to play double-agent.
    Either you're on board with the program or I'd leave you in the middle of a desert road to fend for your two-faced self.
    The ONLY thing the Rethugs can teach anybody is how to stick together, and march in lockstep formation to the same drummer...even if intheir case it is off a cliff.

    May 2, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. Luke,AZ

    President Obama deserves 4 more years just for killing Osama bin Laden during his administration.

    May 2, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. CathyinMN

    Both are DINO and both can be voted out of office. I don't mind them expressing their opinion BUT when they have NOTHING to offer themselves – GO AWAY

    May 2, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. texasmike

    When did publically ruminating about who you would vote for become news? How about you do a series of individuals on who they would vote for...wait a minute,,you already do....its called a poll and guess what its just about useless ten minutes after you finish with the last person on your list. Maybe if the poll was done a few days before the general in November, otherwise its a waste of time and actually as we have seen just used as propaganda to "influence" the vote.

    May 2, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. Bill

    Wow. Honest democrats. The party of hate will be all over these two for being honest..

    May 2, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  23. Janine

    Give me a President who can see past short-term gains (jobs) vs. long term damage to health and environment. Dirty coal states, tough luck. What I've seen about mining and the mess it creates it horrible. We need alternatives now! These two Dems should just switch parties and move to the "for profit only" GOP and get it over with. They wouldn't be missed at all.

    May 2, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. Marley

    It's called politics. West Virginia is a conservative red state. People there are still backwards and think coal and oil is still in abundance and the way of the future. So of course, any politician there would have to play to their constituents.

    May 2, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  25. PulTab

    West Virginia. Enough said.

    May 2, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
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