Dem Rep. Critz: Another Coal-Country Defector From Obama

Wednesday, 20 Jun 2012 02:58 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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Rep. Mark Critz, D-Pa., has announced that he won't attend the Democratic National Convention in an act of rebellion against President Barack Obama.

Critz joins a growing list of Democratic politicians from coal-producing regions who are abandoning the president for his liberal views, particularly his lack of support for the coal industry, The Hill reports. In West Virginia, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Sen. Joe Manchin, and Rep. Nick Rahall have announced that they too will skip the convention.

Obama has never resonated with voters in West Virginia, where he was trounced by Republican nominee John McCain in 2008. The state is probably a lock already for Romney this year, but if the dissatisfaction spreads to coal country in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Obama’s campaign will be in big trouble.

Critz told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he’s avoiding the convention because his concern rests with his district, not the national party. "Since I was elected, my focus has been on creating jobs for people here, rather than focusing on the agendas of the political parties in Washington," he said.

Romney leads Obama by double digits in the southwestern Pennsylvania district represented by Critz, his spokesman Mike Mikus told the paper. He said Critz’ decision to stay away from the convention was "pretty easy," and that it’s "fair to say" Critz won't ask Obama to campaign for him.

Just last week Critz ripped Obama after a speech by the president. Obama needs to learn that we must “take advantage of our vast natural resources such as coal and natural gas in a safe and responsible manner which will lower energy costs and create jobs," Critz said.

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