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. Is Mitt a Git?

    Oh who cares? They are actually republicans. West Virginia is a hick state that has been impoverished due to their constant voting in of republicans. I have no sympathy. These two jerks can talk all they want about doubting Obama, many others don't and will be re-electing him.

    May 2, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  2. Macc

    When both parties that got us into trouble don't like what he is doiing,that is a good sign of honest leadership.

    May 2, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. Lando

    Goodbye.....nobody will miss you...

    May 2, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. Big George in Big D

    He won't if he's smart but a smart democrat is an oxymoron, I know.

    May 2, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. Gina

    I am from WV and believe me – the republicans will not be helping this state if they are elected. We are number one in everything that is bad . We have alot of people who are not educated, severly obese, and chronically ill . It amazes me that the people of this state will go repub – they will get what they deserve

    May 2, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. fuolber

    If you are still sure about obama.... you're nothing more than an ignorant sheep that is blindly following a terrible leader off the cliff. Have a fun fall.

    May 2, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    COJONES it is COJONES.

    May 2, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  8. Dan

    That's ok Traitor. Plenty of us real Democrats will vote for him.

    May 2, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. LIP

    Hurry and get in line because it is bound to grow between now and election time. Perhaps Hillary and Bill will double down and come back as a team...yea

    May 2, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. Dejavu65

    2 democrats from West Virginia are you not suprised? this place is almost more racist than Missisipi of course they don't want to vote for Obma deep down inside it has nothing to do with Democrat or Repub!!

    May 2, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. BillSD33

    Four and the Door. What alternatives have you seen. The same old TIRED republican bills. Eliminate rules for business. They are really great benevolent people with your best interest at heart. Give tax breaks to the wealthy. That has worked really well.

    May 2, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. Aces Full

    Everybody knows Obama is a failure, most Dems tow their party line though and won't admit it, at least this guy has enough of a sack to say what is so.

    May 2, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. Richard

    These guys are republicans in democratic clothing. They should show their true colors so people really know what political party is running WV. I hope when President Obama gets reelected with majorities in both houses, these two will have hat in hand begging for support. If he thinks the policies of the President have put WV in the situation they are in, those two should look within.

    May 2, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Independent

    Four and The Door – You are right. Adopting Buffet plan will raise an extra 46 billion $ over the next 10 yrs while the government would spend 45 trillion $. See how stupid that suggestion is.

    May 2, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. tstorm92

    Democrats have the unfortunate happenstance of "blue dog" Democrats....these screw-ups are Republicans at heart and only registered as Democrats to screw up a vote. Governor, if you're so proud to be a closet Republican than register as one and man up!!!

    May 2, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. charles bowen

    Mitt is full of Mitt. But for me Obama Has good Karma.... Republicans dressed up as Democrata are still Republicans and therefore bad for America..... A politician will sell his soul to get your vote a Republican will sell your soul to the devil and steal your Future too pander to his Party.... Republican/Bad! Democrat/Good! Get the Picture now! Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    May 2, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. Independent

    Is Mitt a Git? – The governor is a democrat! Have you ever heard of critical reading? The democrats like you would flunk SAT (the test most students take to go to college if you do not know what it is!)

    May 2, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. tstorm92

    Blue dog Democrats like Tombllin are really closet Republicans. Why are they so ashamed to be a Republican? If you hold those anti-American views spewed from Rush Limbaugh and Fox News do, then man up and register as a Republican!

    May 2, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. Len Smith

    They have a right to do whatever they like and vote forever they want to be President. But, they cannot point to anything that this President has done that has not been good for the economy. We might be growing in leaps and bounds, but it is coming back and asset wise, I am much better off than I was 5 years ago or longer under President Obama. What would these people have another business man in the White House, albeit somewhat better than the last? What specifically can Romeny offer that is not already being done?????????????

    May 2, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. DEMSSUCKIT

    Poor, poor Obama. Everyone is leaving your side in droves. Hope and Change is coming in 2012!

    May 2, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Claire

    They are not 'bucking' the President. They are bucking the Democratic party voters who may have thought they supported Dem party policies.

    May 2, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    We don't care about you or your stupid, red state.

    May 2, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. Ron in California

    GINA SAYS...I am from WV and believe me – the republicans will not be helping this state if they are elected. We are number one in everything that is bad . We have alot of people who are not educated, severly obese, and chronically ill . It amazes me that the people of this state will go repub – they will get what they deserve. SO..I don't understand. West VA, has been solidly Democrat.. Governor , secretary of State, Attorney General, Auditor Treasurer, State Senate 28-D to 6-R, State House 65-D to 35-R. Seems to me the Democrats have let you and your fellow West Virginians down. Much like the Democrats here in my State of California.

    May 2, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. PREDICTA

    Even the rats know when it's time to leave a sinking ship.

    May 2, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. The Greedy Old PIgs declared class war on US!

    "Everybody knows Obama is a failure, most Dems tow their party line though and won't admit it, at least this guy has enough of a sack to say what is so."

    Another pathetic fact-free snipe from a GOBP cult follower. If you want to see what a truly massive failure looks like, pay attention to how Bush and the GOBP destroyed America. Rmoney is GWB V.2 minus the compassion and public speaking skills. And you're moronic enough to want more of that? America can't handle any more GOBP abuse.

    May 2, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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