Second West Virginia Dem unsure about Obama
May 2nd, 2012
11:32 AM ET
11 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. David R

    Who really cares?

    May 2, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  2. Dnc

    A couple of Democrats that are actually willing to compromise and their party crucifies them....... These are the same folks that said the Republicans wouldn't compromise. WHEN DO WE PUT COUNTRY FIRST?

    May 2, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  3. Ding Tankersley

    Stay poor West Vagina. Good grief!

    May 2, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  4. Jerry

    Come on Mr. Tomblin. Just because Joe Manchin still controls the Democratic Party in West Virginia, even though that is a perc that the sitting governor usually holds, you don't have to agree with EVERYTHING the DINO Joe says! Stand on your own two feet, support the president as any good Democrat should do, and LEAD your state! Stop following your fellow West Virginians in voting against their own best interests!

    May 2, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  5. TBONE

    GOP and DEMS are a corrupt two party system who is not recognizeable and is not for the average person, but for corporations and the wealthy elites....If this guy does not care for either, I think its high time to form a Third Party period and throw the rest of these so called elites out of a job. Voted Obama in 2008, but will not vote for either. Don't believe in the two party system anymore. It lost its way and is too blind for its own good. Unless you have a net worth of $1 million or more in your account, to the elites, your not even American in their book. Independent Moderate is the way to go going forward.

    May 3, 2012 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  6. PaulC

    No surprise.
    W. Virginia votes conservative but is #4 in welfare recipients, 48th in education, 3rd in medicaid, 4th in food stamps. Yeah...I see their thought process.

    May 3, 2012 04:03 am at 4:03 am |
  7. wildbill99

    Governor, if you knew the Constitution, particularly the Bill Of Rights, specifically the 9th and 10th amendments you would nullify all of the feds usurped and unconstitutional garbage they impose on the state. We are after all a Republic or aren't you aware of that either?

    May 3, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
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