Prominent West Virginia Democrats are following the lead of major Obama donors in their cooling of support for the president by skipping the party’s national convention, The Hill
Sen. Joe Manchin, Rep. Nick Rahall, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin all said they would avoid the convention, which will take place in Charlotte, N.C. this September. They are concerned that links to President Barack Obama could hurt their re-election chances.
"I intend to spend this fall focused on the people of West Virginia, whether that's representing them in my official U.S. Senate duties or here at home, where I can hear about their concerns and ideas to solve the problems of this great nation," said Manchin in a statement, reported by The Hill. "I will remain focused on bringing people together for the next generation, not the next election."
Manchin, earlier in the year, expressed that he was not enthusiastic about Obama’s performance.
“The people in West Virginia, they basically look at the candidates — whatever you’re running for, whether it be the president itself, or whatever — [they look at] the performance and the result that’s been attained,” Manchin said in April, according to The Hill. “Right now in West Virginia, these first three and a half years haven’t been that good to West Virginia. So, then you look [at] what the options will be, who will be on the other end.”
Tomblin was more direct, with his spokesman saying that Tomblin has “serious problems” with both Republican nominee Mitt Romney and Obama. "The Governor feels that his time is best spent working in West Virginia to move our state forward instead of attending a four-day political rally in North Carolina,” the spokesman, Chris Stadleman, said, according to The Hill
West Virginia GOP Chairman Conrad Lucas said, according to The Hill, “We all know the only reason they're refusing to attend the DNC Convention is they're afraid to tell the people of West Virginia who they support for President, and any attempt to suggest otherwise is political spin aimed at purposefully misleading the voters," said West Virginia GOP Chairman Conrad Lucas in a statement.
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