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

    ...and what exactly have you done to promote an economic upturn in WV? Stop pushing your failures onto someone else. Has your policies been fully executed? Have you met your obligations for your constituents? Let's not push race as your voting decision.

    May 2, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Let me see if I get this right! One West Virginian democrat in Mr. Manchin said he's jumping ship and voting for the republicans! Now another democrat says he's also jumping ship! So what's the racio of democratic governors, mayors congressmen and congresswomen who may vote against President Obama in comparison to the millions of Americans who are going to vote for the President? Like 15 democrats versus 90 million Americans! Well, keep jumping ship and when the election is over, I hope you traitors say hello to Osama Bin Laden at the botton of the ocean when your republican ship sinks! Obama/Biden 2012 by a landslide!

    May 2, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. Darlene

    Well the picture on here tells the tale. Look who he is paling around with. Chris Christie.

    May 2, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This is what you call "wagering in a very dangerous game of politics" and the result is, you lose.

    May 2, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. Person of Interest

    Wow a politician with a backbone! I'm a Democrat but I can respect these statements. It's been so long since any politician in either party had the balls to stand up to their own party and say you can go by your party line and I'll represent my district and my beliefs. In this day and age most people follow the party line, either really conservative or really liberal. Nice to know some of our officials can still vote against their parties even if I don't agree with them.

    Too bad if the Democrats don't back them with funds they will be ousted by a Republican easily in that state.

    May 2, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Triple A

    To A Liberal, what is A Democrat that stands and voices his own opinion? The enemy.
    The Party of tolerance... pttths

    May 2, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. John Herzog

    What is there about past GOP presidential economic skills that would EVER cause someone to vote that way?
    ...Last 100 years GOP Presidents Stock Market Return 1.3% Demo Presidents 14.4% (Obama 2nd best in history)
    ...Last 100 years 11 Recessions began, including GD, 10 of the 11 during GOP presidencies (all except 1980)
    Year-Ends with plus 8% unemployment since the Great Depression GOP presidents 10 Demo presidents 5 (incl 2011)
    Why would anyone in their right mind put the future of our great country in the hands of a GOP president?

    May 2, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. Bessy

    Hmm ! Big money to be made in coal and the republicans are paying them off. Who do they think they're kidding. They don't care for the people they represent and how unsafe those coal mines are. Big money to be made if they turn against their party.

    May 2, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. Bren

    Remember Jim Webb, former Democratic Senator of Virginia also said (about 2 weeks ago)..........He does not think that Obama will win Virginia this time. Virginia voters want a competent leader, and Obama is not a leader.

    May 2, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. coolbreeze

    Don't worry, there will be 5 votes for every 1 non-vote.

    May 2, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. Scott

    Luke,AZ

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

    Yeah! That was awesome how Obama jumped out of that chopper, charged into the compound and took him out personally. Jeez.........He made a "Gutsy Call" who wouldn't? Heros Never Brag.

    May 2, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "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?"

    Sometimes you have to look at it like this: WHOSE going to be stuck living in that polluted air, drinking that polluted water and living on that polluted land full of chemicals...and WHOSE children and animals will be dying of cancer?

    You think it's going to be Joe-the-CEO with his 15,000 s.f. summer home, complete with car elevators and golden bidets? Or will it be Joe-the-Supressed-Voter, who lives in a 3rd story walk-up in an inner city near the old industrialized area, and his son Joe-the-Acceptable-Loss (Jr. of course), who was born with malformed legs and a brain tumor? Who do you think wins the NIMBY war on a regular basis and why in god's name would they give a crap about polluting an environment they don't have to live in themselves?

    May 2, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. lloyd roberts

    Great West Virginia, vote republican. You're one of the poorest states in the country. Someone once told me either the most dangerous person in the world or the stupidest person in the world is someone who makes under $50,000 a year and consistently votes republican

    May 2, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. David

    This guy is really a Republican, why doesn't he just switch parties.

    May 2, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "Why would anyone in their right mind put the future of our great country in the hands of a GOP president?"

    Because the other guy is blah [sic]?

    May 2, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. Ex-GOP Con

    So he thinks President Obama's policies failed because we are NOT in another Great Depression instead? What an idiot.

    May 2, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  17. nolimits3333

    The Republicans represent the extraction companies and the super rich.

    May 2, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. Larry L

    Another gutless DINO from a red state... He's trying to play the polls with no actual regard for the good of the American people – just like a Republican!

    May 2, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. Dolly

    Okay, go ahead, play that game, and we should vote him out-of-office. You reap what you sew!! You will be the next advertisement and the constituents will turn on you.

    May 2, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. luffing

    If you're not onboard the train, turn your ticket in and get off.

    May 2, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Humm,
    Some Democrats are smarter than you think. You can multiply there two by hundreds of thousands if not millions.

    May 2, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. Sue

    It is not what the Democratic WV Governor and Senator "do/not do" that will have the most effect (not voting for Obama)........It is what they are "saying" that will have the most effect!!

    They are warning and advising Democratic/Independent voters to do their research-–to determine if Obama really is the right man for the job!!

    Their words and warnings will carry through to all other coal producing states........And, Republicans will be using their words to wake up voters in those states!!

    May 2, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. Vidyashanti

    These guys are turn coats. At the time of republican convention they will be invited as speaker and will 'blast' Obama. Haven' we seen before. Shame on them.

    May 2, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. Ambrose Smith

    He's a DINO.

    May 2, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  25. curious

    I keep hearing about President Obama's economic policies. What policies? After the 2010 elections, republicans have made sure nothing gets done.

    May 2, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
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