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. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    And how many republican governors deliberately declined to accept federal bail out aid from the stimulus package just to force their economies to spiral downward? Remenber Louisiana governor Bobby Jindel? Following passage of the stimulus package, he said "Louisiana don't need aid federal aid." But following the onset of the oil spill desaster in the Gulf of Mexico, governor Gindel was the first to cry fould play, arguing that much federal aid wasn't forthcoming and accusing President Obama of not doing enough top help local businesses affected by the desaster. Deceitful and shameless hypocrites!

    May 2, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. Ronda in Houston,TX

    If you believe Governors, they have NO powers to govern their states. They blame their state's conditions on the Federal Government. I did learn in school that there is a difference between the State Government and Federal Government. If Governors don't govern, kick them out and get someone who can!

    May 2, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Bren

    Thank you Democratic Senator Joe Manchin and Democratic Governor Tomblin.........As well, thank you former Democratic Senator of Virginia, Jimm Webb.............

    Because you will definitely help to wake up voters in other coal producing states such as Pennsylvania, Kentucky, etc!!

    May 2, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. Lee Tutt

    Who cares about two turn coats that not will to stand up for their party, because in short each is saying the GOP is the better party, then that where you need to be. GOOD BYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 2, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. ATLJack

    These are not real democrats. They are politicians pandering to a backward state who hate anything that is not ultra conservative.

    May 2, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. Niko_in_Richmond

    These two are in a very conservative state. What do you expect? They both need to fight for their political survival, so I would take what they say with a grain of salt. While Tomblin wants to pass the buck on his own failed policies in W. Va onto the president, the people of that state need to ask what has he done to make things better. Why not follow the Republican model and ram through legislation that favors the constituency that you are pandering to? It seems that with the exception of Governor Cuomo of New York, the Dem governors are spineless whiners. That goes for Manchin too–please tell me what he is doing to help his state, one of the poorest in the nation?

    May 2, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. Christopher

    These two clowns are about as much Democrats as the Bush family, only without the money.

    May 2, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    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.
    Oh yes.... exactly the way Obama has acted for 4 years. Funnelled money to his supporters and campaign contributors (Solyndra, unions). Sleazy government corruption. ANOTHER reason to vote Obama OUT.

    May 2, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. jms58

    If I were a cicizen of that state I would have my doubts about voting for Tomblin.

    May 2, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. Sue

    hahahahahhaahha.........This makes me wonder.............I wonder how many other Democratic politicians--who publicly "say" that they support Obama, but will secretly be voting for Romney on election day?

    May 2, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. Peggy - TX

    Dr. Knowitall

    Obama is nothing more than a communist trying to break freedom. His "rule" by executive order must come to an end.

    Really? What an absurd statement!

    Executive orders are what Presidents do! They are executives. They give orders. The Presidents orders are Executive orders. Presidents are not the legislator so stop blaming him for the lack of quality legislation and if he must circumvent the twisted efforts of a Republican lead Congress to block his every move, then he should be congratulated for competently carrying out the duties of office to make Government work to serve the people, not just the 1% funding the GOP slim machine.

    May 2, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. bluedogboy

    And all of West Virginia's problems with be solved with Mitt Romney as Presdient.

    Ya, right.

    May 2, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. lyn

    In my deepest inner feelings, I sometimes wish McCain/Palin had won so I could say, "see I told you what losers they were". Just remember all Republicans voted for the nut-team, knowing how completely they would have messed us up and jobs would have continued to disappear to India. Count your blessings Republicans that didn't happen, but given another chance to vote they'll still vote for the party, selling the U.S. down river.

    May 2, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    curious – I keep hearing about President Obama's economic policies. What policies? After the 2010 elections, republicans have made sure nothing gets done.
    It's called stopping the out of control leftist spending and unconstitutional government mandates and instituting REAL solutions, not ideological BS. And the economy has been doing better since! And will do MUCH BETTER once Romney is in the Whitehouse and the Senate and House led by Republicans.

    May 2, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. JS

    In West Virginia, "I may not vote for you" is code for "you didn't give me enough pork projects". West Virginia has been suckling at the federal teat since the civil war, it's time to wean it off and get it to be self-sustaining. If they don't like a democrat for president, wait and see what happens when they get a republican that kicks half the state off of food stamps.

    May 2, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. JohnDHater

    Is West Virginia still a state?

    May 2, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. Peggy - TX

    Earlier post:


    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.

    President Obama, made it happen!!! He made it happen by continuing the efforts started by former President Bush, by putting competent people in place to lead the Military, by making the hard executive decisions. He is not running for Seal of the year, but rather the Chief executive office, and what a fine job he is doing. Your just upset because he is doing a good job. If the team failed, I doubt you would hesitate tobBlame the President.

    May 2, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. Lizzie

    It says it all, they are up for re-election and really the democrats have no platform to run on. Just to tell every one tax the rich so we in Washington can pay off more supporters and bundlers, or maybe they would like to tell the American taxpayer that our debt is now more the the GNP, that Pres.Obama has spent over 5 trillion and has nothing to show for, or maybe that the DEMOCRATIC senate refuses to abide by the law and pass a budget.

    May 2, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. Bill, NY

    Hey Tomblin, do us all a favor and become a republican.

    May 2, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. steve

    Good Lord, please get a clue!

    May 2, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. RightyTighty

    Manchin just cracked the door open for the mass shift away from Obama. This is only the start of the exodous. Real Americans like freedom and liberty and see the bread lines Obama has planned in his new world.

    May 2, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    I'm a democratic congressman who's voting against Obama simply because he inherited a surplus and a stable and thriving America from GWB! I'm a democrat who's voting against Obama because he didn't inherit two deadly and costly wars from GWB and the GOP! I'm a democrat who's voting against Obama because he bailed out and saved the Big Three that helped win us WWII, solidifying and preserving our democracy! I'm a democratic who's voting against Obama because he made the gutsy call in sending our Navy SEALS to kill the mastermind of the worst terrorist attack in our nation's history! I'm a democrat who's voting against Obama because he puts women, the elderly, the poor and the middle class first! I'm a democrat who's voting against Obama because he has restored our credibility and trust abroad! yea, I'm a democrat who's voting against Obama because I can't find a real reason why I should vote against him!

    Obama/Biden 2012 by a landslide!

    May 2, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. skylark

    I'd call them bluedogs but that would be an insult to canines.
    Fat, greedy Repubs in Dems clothing.
    Racist porkers all of them.
    Conservative= analretentive

    May 2, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  24. Joshua Ludd

    Yes, because the election of the president should be about nothing but how your states are doing... not the country as a whole.. and even if there isn't a better candidate in either party, you go ahead and undermine your own party with your symbolic vote... that will surely bring about nothing but good things. Democrats.. always ready, willing, and able to shoot themselves in the foot at the least prompting.

    May 2, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  25. Lolo

    Who cares. They are rednecks who don't like people of color period. What they need to do is go sit down and cry over spilled milk which they caused by trying to make President Obama a one term president with their hate and lies. West Virginia needs to wake up and vote him out. They are as poor a state today as they were yesterday., so whose fooling who. Looks like he isn't missing any meals.

    May 2, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
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