October 18th, 2010
10:34 PM ET
12 years ago

In West Virginia, a debate about Obama

(CNN) - In Monday's West Virgina Senate debate, Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin sought to claim his independence and Republican John Raese tried to attach Manchin’s name to President Obama’s as much as possible. The other two candidates seemed to act like buffers.

“I have to inform my opponent that Mr. Obama’s name will not be on the ballot for the U.S. Senate in West Virginia,” Manchin said.

Manchin said the Raese campaign is trying to scare West Virginia voters into thinking he’s going to “let somebody control me or be a rubber stamp for somebody that I’ve never been.”

But that didn’t stop Raese from tying Manchin to Obama.

“We have to start lifting jobs and manufacturing where they should be, not like Manchin and Obama,” Raese said. “They enjoy people working for 7 dollars and 25 cents. Quite frankly, I don’t.”

Manchin, the current two-term governor, touted his independence and moderate stands on health care and cap and trade as examples that he won’t be a surefire vote for Democrats in the Senate.

“President Obama or President Bush, I’m an American,” Manchin said. “I want my presidents to succeed. I want my country to succeed, and I will help whoever I can.”
And Raese took hard stands against the current administration, especially on the health care reform legislation that was passed earlier this year.

“I’d like to repeal every part of it because it is pure unadulterated socialism,” Raese said. “It is the worst bill that has ever come out of the United States Senate and House.”

The themes at play during the debate between Manchin and Raese have been constants in the race. Democrats have pursued an anti-Obama strategy in conservative regions of the state and Republicans have repeatedly run ads suggesting Manchin would be a rubberstamp for the Obama agenda in Washington.

The two other candidates on stage Monday were Jess Johnson of the Mountain Party and Jesse Becker of the Constitution party, both of whom seemed frustrated that they did not have more time to address the issues.

Becker referenced the Constitution in nearly every answer and at one point suggested the September 11 terrorist attacks showed evidence of “foreknowledge.”

Johnson said the United States has “socialist constructs” and that the country would not be as successful today if it were based only on capitalism.

The winner of the special election in November will serve the remaining two years of Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd’s term. Byrd died earlier this year after over 50 years in the Senate.

According to the latest CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll of likely voters, Manchin and Raese are dead even at 44 percent. Among registered voters the poll had a sampling error of 3.5 percentage points.

Filed under: 2010 • Joe Manchin • John Raese • West Virginia
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. ronalde

    way to go joe,run on what you did for west virgina,nothing.

    October 18, 2010 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  2. Independent

    How in the world is Manchin like Obama? Democrats are a pretty big tent party and Manchin has a pretty independent voice.

    October 18, 2010 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  3. 15 Days until Socialism dies in the United States

    Remember West Virginians... don't vote for ANY Obozo rubber stampers. DemocRATS sell their souls to Obozo, Reid and Pelosi once they get elected. If you want to see the coal industry attacked and demonized, just like all the other evil companies and industries, vote for DemocRATS. Their "green agenda" will put tens of thousands of you OUT OF WORK.

    DON'T be CONNED!

    October 18, 2010 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It sounds like would be in favor of repealing food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Unemployment and many other items that were either passed during FDR's time or JFK & LBJ. Those were set up because there was and still is a need for people to be helped. The unfortunate thing is that I don't see enough of the wealthy setting up social welfare organization that can do this instead of the federal government.

    October 18, 2010 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
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    October 18, 2010 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  6. The Unsub

    Manchin will win this one. Obama has done an excellent job considering what he's inherited and the time he's done it. Could you imagine a McCain/Pailin nightmare?!?

    October 18, 2010 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  7. Peter E

    All this despite the fact that Obama is just continuing the policies of Bush 100%. Thesame policies reublicans have supported and continue to make excuses for. Tax cuts? Obama has not just extended them, but added to them. (1/3 of the hypocritically criticized stimulus package was tax cuts) Foreign policy? We've expanded on the War on Terror, continue to tough talk Iran and North Korea, while continuing Bush's sucking up to the Chinese and Saud Arabians. Health care? Bush was the one who expanded government run health care when he expanded Medicare, the same thing that the hypocritically criticized Obamacare does in almost its entirety. Energy? Obama has continued to suck up to the very same oil companies that the Bush/Cheney team let dictate energy policy for this past decade.
    Face it. Despite the liberal/conservative pundit nonsense, Obama=Bush NOT ONE THING CHANGED!!! The media and politicians will exploit people's ignorance, but the fact remains, the policies of the previous administration continue! Fact check me! I DARE you to prove me wrong by showing one SINGLE policy that didn't start with the previous administration or before!!!

    October 18, 2010 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  8. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Yes, PLEASE let's return to the Bush policies. That's what they want. That and us forgetting that those policies got us into this current mess. Republican plan: let's do what we've done for the past decade because it worked sooo well! More tax cuts for the rich, more deregulation for oil companies, corrupt banks, and greedy pharmaceutical companies. It's not as if the economic collapse along with most of the jobs lost didn't happen under Bush... Ooops! It did! But I'm sure republicans will find a way to excuse that as well.
    Hey, maybe wait another decade and they'll try to market Bush Jr. and his policies as democrats. They are in the business of revisionist history, afterall.

    October 19, 2010 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  9. Josh

    "Manchin believes that global warming is caused by humans, I do not believe that" -Raese
    "my philosophy has always been 'we win, you lose.'" Raese
    health care for all citizens is the worst bill to come out of the house/senate – Raese
    "sounds like a career politician to me" -Raese about Manchin
    "If you have enough money, and scare enough people" as Manchin motioned to Raese.

    October 19, 2010 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  10. Josh

    I believe that this debate went far and away in favor of Manchin. He repeatedly was saying that he is here to help WV and has done so successfully in his current position. Raese kept up the smug "I'm better than you" appearance and said that he is a businessman, out to make money for the state. Money for the state is good, don't get me wrong, but not at the expense of doing away with the minimum wage and trying to privatize ALL schools. This will mean the poor not only are unable to make any money, but they would then be unable to send their children to school as well, complicating the problems even more so!

    October 19, 2010 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  11. micki kirkland

    Is it really too much to expect people running for office to have a plan for improving economic conditions, improving public education and job creation?

    October 19, 2010 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  12. WVGUY

    Manchin showed he is a level headed guy that can stand up against his own party when they are wrong. A man that is against abortion, for guns, and for coal. Although Raese's for those things as well, he came across as hot headed, bullying, and gave info on Manchin's record that just wasn't true. Raese said he will be against special interest, he is a special interest. He owns coal companies all over the state, and wants to make mine safety go away, do away with a minimum wage, and do away with both good and bad parts of healthcare reform. Doing away with the minimum wage will open the door for companies to pay workers $2 an hour. He says people will make more, but if he expects employers to pay more he's crazy cause he wouldn't. Raese has been running a campaign for fear, well it worked, he scares me!!!

    October 19, 2010 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  13. barry

    If the people if West Virginia elect Manchin he will be the rubber stamp for Obama he currently denies. He's a liberal he's just putting on a act trying to fool the people. Remember Obama tried to act like he was more center when he was running as well. As soon as he was elected he ran to the left as fast as he could. Manchin will do the same.

    October 19, 2010 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  14. CBR

    One would think that Governor Manchin would be on everyone's list in WVA. He has been a good governor and the epople seem to appreciate what he has done

    The service for the coal miners should be enough to prove how much he cares for WVA. I really think he would be his own man. He will not need his arty leaders to tell him how to vote. What will his opponent do when Sen. McConnell tells him how to vote. Judging from the Senate votes lately, the Republicans vote en masse. No thinking on their own. Perhaps his opponent needs to step back and think about what he will do and not what he thinks Gov. Manchin will do.

    The good governor will be a strong Senator and will do what is right and appropriate for WVA.

    October 19, 2010 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  15. King

    The repugs are hyprocrits. when medicare was past by the dems back in the. Days, The repugs bitch and screamed socialism. they also bitched and and shouted bloody murder when part of medicare was reduced to pay for obamacare. Now theyve turn full cycle again calling the obama care socialism. Do these repugs have any clue? Two years ago when premiums were sky rocketting to 50, 60, and even 70 percent hike, they tried every thing in their power to protect the record profit making insurance copanies while millions were losing jobs, homes, or just plain dying because people couldnt afford health insurance. Now the premiums is about 7 percent nationally and they even added a whopping 30 million more people to the obamacare without a single help from the insurance loving repugs. Now they want to repeal one of the greatest thing ever to happen to the american people to please the insurance companies.

    October 19, 2010 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  16. J.V.Hodgson

    When it is so close like this the Incumbent usually wins or the party to which the previous incumbent belonged. As state governor Manchins ideas and actions and policy are well known and sure Raese is not . Come the real vote in the booth Manchin wins without question.

    October 19, 2010 04:38 am at 4:38 am |
  17. John

    I will be voting for Manchin. If anyone wants to vote for Raese after the things he said, they should have their mental status checked.

    October 19, 2010 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  18. vs101

    The entire motivation for the rants of the T/Republican party is rooted in a revulsion and rage that has consumed them after the election of Obama. It is as if the entire "base" of the republican party has been transformed into a giant lynch mob.

    October 19, 2010 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It is a HUGE mistake for a Democratic candidate to openly dissasociate himself with the current Democratic administration. It sends a very confusing message to an already embroiled electorate. ALL Democrats need to unite, embrace their President, tout the fact that they averted a total financial meltdown, that against unilateral GOP opposition reform laws have been passed that directly benefit the 98%ers. This is the time to UNITE as a Party, stand up and take well-deserved credit for doing the right things for the country, stop buying into the GOP version of shoulds and should'nts, and stop playing chicken.

    October 19, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |