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. Thomas

    Its all about money , military and defense contracts !

    The wars made companies with headquarters in Virginia very very wealthy .

    Ask House Majority Leader Eric Cantor !

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

    bluedogboy:

    Well here is the thing.........West Virginia voters--as well as ALL other voters-- saw, lived and are aware-- that their problems were NOT solved by Obama and his policies, and actually became a LOT worse--

    They are not going to be willing to see how much worse Obama can make it for them with 4 more years in office......

    Therefore, they will think/say/vote---time for a change to see what ideas/solutions the other guy (Romney) has!!

    Based on voting data.........When voters are "unsure/concerned" about whether or not to support the current guy/gal in office, the majority usually go for the new guy/gal on election day!!

    May 2, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. lolol

    why would anyone wants to vote a puppet for the Rothschild-Z1on1st Bankster Cabal?

    May 2, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. Tex71

    West Virginia is owned by mining corporations – shouldn't even be called a state. Think about it! If the Bakken oil shale field were granted statehood, it would have two oil execs for senators and we all know how they would vote, no matter what they called themselves. If it is a done deal that any WV politician is going to be in the pockets of coal mining companies, then where is the representation?

    May 2, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. joshua

    Democrats have had 4 years of control over 2/3's of the federal government. 2 full years with 100% control. They could have passed any bill they wanted and chose to line the pockets of their union boss buddies and their pals on Wall Street instead of working on the deficit or stimulating the economy. Obama has failed this country in many similar ways to Jimmy Carter. Many polls showed Carter with a lead up until election day. As it turned out, Carter lost in a land slide. Obama = Jimmy Carter and it won't ever be close.

    May 2, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  6. Bren

    It is actually hilarious........Because the words from these Democratic politicians will be used to wake up the voters in all of the other coal producing states such as Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Colorado, Wyoming, etc.

    We are talking millions of voters here-–the miners, their family members, the other businesses that exist due to the coal industry, etc.

    The voters will not be voting "blindly" this election day.........Obama IS being vetted/exposed for who/what he "really" is--and what his Administration and his policies are "really" doing to the economy/unemployment rate/debt/country!!

    May 2, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  7. Hugganoak

    Well, I'm not sure about Gov. Tomblin. I don't think I'll vote for him in November either.

    May 2, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    And how many republicans voted against GWB's re-election bid even when it was clear he deliberately and purposely lied and misled the American people about bogus WMD's in Iraq? How many republicans voted against GWB's re-election bid when he murdered our innocent troops in Iraq and likewise in Afghanistan when he deliberately and recklessly abandoned and prolonged the Afghan war to invade Iraq? How many republicans voted against GWB's re-election bid when he failed to avert the 9/11 attacks? During the Libyan crisis, the republicans accused President Obama of dragging his feet and doing nothing to help civilians who were being slaughtered in Libya! But when our President did the right thing by getting the international community on board to execute the legitimate UN mandate to protect Libyan civilians, the gop did a classic etch-a-sketch, accusing our President of rushing to war! Hypocrisy, hypocrisy, hypocrisy? Then there was democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich saying President Obama could be impeached for our legitimate ivolvement in Libya! Yet, at no point in time during GWB's tenure did Dennis Kucinich ever mentioned the word impeachment and GWB's name in the same sentence for the war crimes he committed! Well folkes, only in America! Only in America!

    May 2, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. mfx3

    First of all there's no such thing as a West Virginia Democrat. Second, you're more likely to see Dems disagreeing with Obama than a single Republican agreeing with him. It's because they keep an open mind.

    May 2, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. penny

    Who cares.

    May 2, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. AF.

    Don't say democrats. I am democrat and I will vote for Obama. Not every one is in the best of most american people. For some american people are just they family ( wife, children, parents) and that's it.

    May 2, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  12. Larry L

    @Dr. Knowitall

    "Obama is nothing more than a communist trying to break freedom. His "rule" by executive order must come to an end."
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    It sounds like you've been getting educated by Dr. Rush, Dr. Glenn and Dr. Sean. I'll bet you couldn't define "communism" if your life depended on it! Can you define "fascism"? How about the "Classic Elitist Theory"? Look up the terms – then speak. Your comments tend to be nothing more than foolish sound bites driven by ignorance, hatred and most likely – racism. Fox News... the more you listen the less you know...

    May 2, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. jdun

    Guess we know who owns these politicians- the energy companies. Coal is left over from the 19th century. It is dirty, environmentally destructive when burned and the beautiful West Virginia environment is destroyed when it is mined. West Virginia needs to reinvest its resources in education, alternative energy, recreation and tourism to get out of the dead end future ahead of them. It won't be easy, will demand a lot of work, sacrifice, and most important, leadership from politicians who can see the future, not the past.

    May 2, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. alleygator

    Yawn . . . another southern good ol' boy who doesn't like our president.

    May 2, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    joshua - Many polls showed Carter with a lead up until election day. As it turned out, Carter lost in a land slide. Obama = Jimmy Carter and it won't ever be close.
    =============================================================================================
    It is pretty clear that many people are afraid to say they will NOT vote for Obama for fear of being called racists. Many of them that voted for Obama in 2008 will simply lead the pollsters along and then go into the polling booth and correct their mistake by voting for Romney. If you have, or want a job in America then you'd be insane to vote for another 4 years of Obama failure.

    May 2, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. Norma Vessels

    Mr.Tomblin and Mr. Manchin are wolves in sheep's clothing. Any Democrat worth mentioning would vote for his president in a heartbeat. West Virginia has had all the chances that every other state has had, with all the Bills President Obama has put out, that helps people get on their feet. If West Virginia find themselves in a hole .. they aren't trying very hard, to get themselves back out again. I guess you want our president to throw you a gold rope!

    May 2, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. T

    Smoke Screen......are they really DEM.........

    May 2, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. Jim Hahn

    Just because West Virginia's coal companies don't want to change, then the state doesn't want to change, it would just rather have it's citizens die in a pit. Environmental regulations are there for a reason. They save lives and they save the planet. You can be smart and change or dumb and keep doing the same old thing until you've ruined your environment and can't live there any more.

    May 2, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. Jim in PA

    Obama could please the environmentalists and the coal workers simultaneously... by ending mountain top removal. The environmentalists would love it for obvious reasons, and smart coal workers would love it because they know that underground mines require more workers and higher wages. Outlawing surface mining of coal would cause a spike in employment in the coal industry.

    May 2, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. Joe Brown

    Oh look! Another Republican just came out of the closet!

    May 2, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    @ Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer:

    You're on fire today!!
    Great posts!

    May 2, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Jim Hahn - Just because West Virginia's coal companies don't want to change, then the state doesn't want to change, it would just rather have it's citizens die in a pit. Environmental regulations are there for a reason. They save lives and they save the planet. You can be smart and change or dumb and keep doing the same old thing until you've ruined your environment and can't live there any more
    =============================================================================================
    It appears that the Obama adminstration has already determined their fate and that it is better that they lose their jobs, homes and familiy and die of starvation or become wards of the Obama entitlement society. You see, Obama in his superior Harvard knowledge has determined they must be sacrificed for the good of society.

    May 2, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Is there any truth to the rumor that Obama intends to rename West Virginia to "District 12" and begin the Obama Hunger Games if he gets re-elected?

    (you gotta see the movie to get this)

    May 2, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. Skeet

    I bet Obama does not receive 1 vote from any southerner without a chin. Democrat or Republican.

    May 2, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  25. BK

    Who cares? West Virginia is expected to go Republican regardless. No one cares about the states that always vote Republican or always vote Democrat. They may as well not be voting at all, as only the swing states really decide who the President is.

    May 2, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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