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. ja

    that sob, why don't he just called himself a closet republican

    May 2, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  2. Luke Brown

    Funny these spineless characters didn't seem to mention their "doubts" about Obama when they were raising hundreds of thousands of dollars from us Democratic donors who gave to their campaigns.

    May 2, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. David

    Obama needs to realize that we don't want socialism, we were meant to be a free country.

    May 2, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  4. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    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
    Well Obama could clear up exactly what he is if he released his college records. Why doesn't he release this information? Too many pro socialist or communist papers maybe? Or was it that he never took a finance or economics course? Or maybe he flunked them and other courses and he's not as smart as others say?? Just WHAT is Mr. transparency hiding???? COME CLEAN OBAMA!! WHO AND WHAT ARE YOU?!!

    May 2, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. bethjoyce

    What would you expect from West Virginia.

    May 2, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. Ken in MD

    WV is a Republican leaning state. These guys are just pandering for votes in the hopes of staying in office. Sad. Hopefully WV Democrats will be as "unsure" about re-electing these guys.

    May 2, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. Phattee

    West Virginia...

    'nuff said

    May 2, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    During President Obama's State of the Union Address in 2011, he introduced a comprehensive jobs bill to get more Americans back to work and he outlined a blue print for paying for this bill! Sadly, before the President could address the nation, many republicans and tea partiers announced in advance that they were boycotting the President's address because in their words, the legislation won't work! Fine! But did the rightwing leadership introduce a bill they believe would create jobs for the American people? Unfortunately no! Let's face it, political revolt and criticism of the President's policies are not solutions for growing our economy but rather obstacles to progress! And when the President address the nation to discuss ways to help struggling Americans get back on their feet, is walking out on the American people the most patriotic thing to do? That is as un-American as the word itself implies!

    May 2, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    I hope Christie was there to get Manchin's and the Governors endorsement for Romney! Maybe they can start a seperate Super PAC like "Democrats Who Aren't Braindead"?

    May 2, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. mj

    The real question is, "Why would anyone reelect Obama?" New "Slogan" of "Forward". He needs to put it in Park and Shut off the Engine. We can not afford another 4 years of his reckless spending and lack of true leadership.

    May 2, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |

    @Luke said a mouth full......Obama 2012.......WVa, is & will always be, WVa.......Not a sign of political courage in manchin or Tomblin at all....smh

    May 2, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. ObjectiveGuy

    Take these two former Obama supporters, multiply them by another couple hundred million US voters who are also dissatisfied with Obama's performance, and finally there WILL be hope for some change that we actually want and need!

    Next time a political candidate looks like a liberal, walks like a liberal, sounds like a liberal, and spends millions of dollars to seal as much of his very sketchy background as possible, we'll know that it is safe to assume that he just may not be the guy we want or need in office. Americans voted Obama into the presidency to prove we're not racist. Now let's vote him out to prove we're not stupid!

    May 2, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. V in Chicago

    This is why I do not donate to the Democratic Party. I only donate directly to President Obama's re-election campaign. Too many of these fools out there and I do not support the Party. I support the Man.

    May 2, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. jsokol1626

    Nothing hurt WV more than the loss of Senator Byrd, a master at bringing federal jobs to the Mountain state. Manchin needs to learn that bucking his party will only hurt WV in the long run. Republicans and big business (coal, chemical companies and steel) have been raping this state for far too long. Given the scarce opportunities for employment in many parts of the state the people are afraid to buck the system and remain conservative even though it is hurting them. Environmental regulations are necessary to protect the citizens, only big business would argue that a cleaner environment hurts the economy. Don't be a fool, Manchin.

    May 2, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  15. ElectClinton

    Obama is, plain and simple, a useless, clueless BOOB who has been a one man wrecking ball to the economy of WV.

    No politician in WV, who has a brain, would back Obama.

    May 2, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  16. ElectClinton

    OUR Party made a huge mistake in 2008.

    WV had the GOOD sense to back Hillary in 2008, not an inexperienced, totally clueless person like Obama.

    May 2, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. JD

    And THAT's what I hate about the Dems. The Republican will sleaze behind anyone who furthers their causes no matter how much they hate it or they fall silent. The Dems just throw it out there without any sense of a party cause. Idiots.

    May 2, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. jsokol1626

    Only big business would argue that a safer environment will hurt the economy. West Virginia Democrats need to learn a lesson from the late, great Senator Byrd. Love your state and fight for its people, never cower to the outsiders who will take all you have and give nothing in return. Some West Virginians remain conservative out of fear for the loss of jobs that are so precious in so many areas of the state. Manchin needs to learn that bucking his party will hurt his people in the long run, instead of playing silly re election games.

    May 2, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer


    Perhaps you don't know what you and your ill-conceived republican friends are talking about! let's face it, every day I stepped out my door for the past decade and looked across the Hudson, I saw a void that reminded me of the 9/11 tragedy that GWB and the GOP failed to avert! But today I see hope and change because the Freedom Tower is rising dramatically and reminding the world of our will and resolve! That is CHANGE we can count on! God bless America and God bless President Obama for his bold, courageous and inspiring leadership and commitment to the American cause! THAT IS CHANGE WE CAN COUNT ON! Obama/Biden 2012!

    May 2, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. szark

    Just another story of some useless politician saying "Look at me, Look at me!" 15 minutes of fame are easy to come by these days....

    May 2, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. Wake up people

    If President Obama needs to release his transcripts, which he doesn't. So should Robmey, along with his birth certificate and especially his tax forms for the past 10 years. I know you rethugs think we blacks are dumb beasts and only get by on affirmative action, but I bet not one of you repubs/tea baggers is even smart as the average black person. Stop believing your bigoted masters when they say our brains are smaller. Another lie by Rush and company. I bet Robmey NEVER got higher than a C. President Obama's pinky toe is smarter than Robmeys entire body.

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 2, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. Jerry

    OMG!!! Two of my fellow Democrats (Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Sen. Joe Manchin) with "bolas."

    There may still be light at the end of the tunnel.

    Stay tuned...

    May 2, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  23. MRF_2010

    Obama didn't do anything to WV's economy. The fact that WV hasn't done anything to diversify its economy is what is hurting WV. If the Obama administration is just a rubber stamp for Coal mining projects, then there is no point to government oversight in the first place. WV needs to learn from Detroit and realize how dangerous it is to be a one trick pony. Especially when its only trick isn't capable of being a socially and environmentally responsible one. The Chevy Volt is real, Clean Coal is a complete fabrication.

    I can't really blame the idiot in the story though. He is just saving his own butt.

    May 2, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. Gwen

    I'm so sick of hearing how Obama is a liberal with no leadership skills and spent so much – The man had to spend to save this country from a depression – he was left with 25 months of job loss – since he has been president we've had months of job gains with the last 12 consecutive months all being job growth!! He saved million of jobs in the auto industry, he stream lined student loans, he has done more for vets that Bush ever did, he passed the lidbetter act for women and he passed a healthcare law so ALL Americans can have health insurance, he ended the iraq war – and the icing on the cake – he made the decision to take out Osama Bin Lidin!!! For what he was handed he has done a great job!!! Obama 2012

    May 2, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. john

    Wes' Virginny.....yeeeee haaaaaaaaa

    May 2, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
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