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. Mgc tampa

    Fine then don't take any money from the DNC. We don't need anymore Dinos! (democrate in name only). I personally specifiy on my contributions who it cannot go to.

    May 2, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @Objectivity Guy

    As far as people voting for Obama just to show they're not racist just goes to show that you idiots alwats vote on non issues! First of all, you didn't vote for President Obama and I'm glad you didn't! Secondly, the millions of Americans who voted for President Obama didn't vote for him to prove a race or ethnicity point! They voted for President Obama because our economy was wrecked, because we were still fighting two deadly and costly wars and because our country was heading in the wrong direction! So why don't you do all of us a favor and keep voting for your republicans friends! America would be better off without communists like you people!

    May 2, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. DDanny1

    Coal mining regions all across the U.S. and also the world always follow the same path. When an abundance of coal is first found there is a surge in the economy. The more coal there is, the higher percentage of the economy is directly or indirectly involved in the actual coal mining or the support of it. Education level's fall because usually the mining companies will hire as many as they can equip to get the coal out quickly. Relatively soon the "easy pickings" coal starts dwindling and a new place is found where the coal can be harvested (it's hard to call mountain top removal "mining") cheaper and the mining companies pick up lock stock and barrel and move the industry to the new virgin turf. The former area is now polluted, poor and uneducated making it very hard to attract industry or tourism. How many people know that WYOMING is now by far the largest coal producing state in the country, which produces more than West Virginia and Kentucky combined? The only way WV and KY can keep the mining companies around a little longer is by reducing regulations on safety, environmental pollution and workers rights, which might delay the day the curtain falls on coal mining in their states, but they will be left with even more sick and/or disabled miners, more pollution to clean up and more uneducated people with no pensions or disability care.

    May 2, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. Dennis

    This is called self preservation. Obama is about as popular as a lead life preserver in West Virginia.

    May 2, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. Arch

    oh, austerity is a much better plan, coward. i only hope you get your a** handed to you in the next election. west virginia deserves better than to have a cowardly simpering democrat (in name only) as their rep.

    May 2, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. Nosuprise Here

    This is a non story. He lives in West Virginia ....

    May 2, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  7. jason

    fair enough.

    i'm in favor of phasing out "dirty energy" but there has to be a plan to employ those who have jobs in that industry. you can't just cut them loose and expect them to be happy about it.

    May 2, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  8. Lisa - VA


    May 2, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer - 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
    If only Bill Clinton had the cajones to give the CIA agent the go ahead to pull the trigger when he had Bin Laden in his gun sights.

    May 2, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. G D

    We all should be doubting Obama. His inability to use his Office to effectively pressure for a more aggressive economic stimulus measures years ago when they would have done the most good is the single biggest gap. The second is allowing a juggernaut health bill that did nothing to reduce core costs of medical services, but rather increased the insurance burden on businesses. BUT, where is the choice? GOP pro-life, pro-death (capital punishment), pro-cons (allow more deregulation). Where does that leave us? No good choices.

    May 2, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. weldon gebhard

    Do I, You smell a little pay off in the working?

    May 2, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  12. Michael

    West Virginia is a red-neck backward state. Who would want to work there and die in a coal mine disaster which has no inspectors with any authority or ethics. Corporate greed and corrupt politicians have run this state since it seceeded from the Virginia and the Confederacy in 1863 and formed it's own state. Bunch of hillbilly losers.

    May 2, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. beevee

    This guy is like a snake with two tongues. if you can't stay behind the leader of your party and support him please go to the other side openly and don't pretend.

    May 2, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. Kevin

    Another old rich white guy who doesn't like Obama..... just add him to the list

    May 2, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. rrunjin

    @Objectivity Guy – You are totally clueless. Do you really think that when 95% of african americans voted for Obama it was not abou race?

    May 2, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  16. aggie95

    This man's rationale makes no sense. He even said Romney's policies would make WV's economy even worse, so he can't support him either (for those of you cheering him on). So, I guess he will not vote in Nov. My question to him would be, what has he and his predecessor done for their OWN state? I'm sure this coal mining state was in trouble WELL before Pres Obama.

    May 2, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @Democrat class warfare

    You are mistaken! GWB and the GOP were solely responsible for the 9/11 tragedy, as well at the prolonged Afgan war and the illegitimate Iraqi war! And yes, they're also responsible for our wrecked economy! What did GWB do when OBL was cornered in Tora Bora? He said the terrain was too tough and the mission too risky so he told General Tommy Franks to retreat and let the Mujahadeen do the job as he withdrew the best equipped armed forces in the world from such a delicate and sensitive mission! Let's face it, GWB is a coward who gave OBL a slap on the wrist and safe haven into Pakistan to plot to attack us once more! You dumb republicans!

    May 2, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. Veteran for Obama

    @ Democrate Class Warfare- Destroying the economy, destroying yhe country
    Why should President Obama release his college transcripts? and what does his transcripts have to do with this article? please try to keep up, as you know a mind is a terrible thing to waste. These two need to grow a pair.

    May 2, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  19. DaveC

    The big question is: Why is this news? Does anyone honestly think that Obama was counting on both of these guys to vote for him in the first place? Probably not. Kinda like Obama hoping Rick Perry would vote for him.

    Obviously both of these guys thought they were so utterly important that everyone cared who they were going to vote for in March 2012 when the election isn't until November. I will bet each of their spouses didn't even pay attention to this press release.

    May 2, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. He got it right

    Say anything to get elected. Wonderful thing about voting.. You can annouce to the world your going to vote for a certain person when you are walking in the booth... go in the booth and for someone else... and walk out and tell everyone you kept your promise... no one ever knows the difference.

    May 2, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. truefax

    Translation: I wouldn't vote for a nagger president, but I'm not voting for a mormon either. What has america come to?

    May 2, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  22. Ellen

    Surprised at the level of vitriol here. He doesn't like Obama, he doesn't like Romney. Maybe he'll vote for what he believes in...something we all SHOULD do. Country before party, remember? Perhaps he'll support Gary Johnson on the Libertarian ticket or Buddy Roemer on the Reform Party ticket.

    Having an R or a D after your name when you vote shouldn't bind you into blindly voting down party lines.

    May 2, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. Biff Omney

    That many Democrats in West Virginia don't like Obama because of his race is a fact. Watch the videos of interviews with WV voters during the Democratic primaries in 2008.

    May 2, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  24. Chucky T

    Obama is the same as Bush. Romney would be the same as Obama and Bush. They are all puppets. The only person that would make a real change is Dr. Ron Paul. Join the revolution to get our beloved America back.

    Ron Paul 2012!

    May 2, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  25. Four and The Door

    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!
    ...using the same failed strategies of 2009 and 2010. No thanks. We will cut our losses at $5 trillion. Since then, what new ideas has he offered? None. Raising taxes is not an economic strategy. It is a political folly.

    Romney 2012

    May 2, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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