EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSDEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION
from Eyewitness News Online
Three Top W.Va. Democrats Are Skipping Democratic National Convention
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Videographer: John Tincher
Web Producer: Kallie Cart
Reported: Jun. 19, 2012 6:08 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
In September, the Democratic Party will officially nominate its presidential candidate, but the West Virginia delegation will have three very noticeable absences. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, Senator Joe Manchin and Representative Nick Rahall have all announced they will not be attending the Democratic National Convention.
Tomblin and Manchin both say they want to stay in West Virginia during that time to campaign and work at home. But the political perception is, they're skipping out to distance themselves from President Barack Obama.
Manchin not only attended the last convention in 2008, he spoke and supported Obama. But since then, Manchin and Tomblin have been publicly at odds with the president, mainly about Obama's stance on coal.
As super-delegates at the convention, they would be on the record, nominating Obama as their candidate. The President is so unpopular in the Mountain State that a prisoner picked up 41% of the vote in the Democratic primary last month.
"We just have differences, those are respectful. I still want our country to do well and I'm going to do everything I can to participate. I'm not going to sit here and throw rocks and tear things down," Manchin said.
At the state convention, democrats passed a resolution to support all candidates, including Obama. But Manchin and Tomblin still won't say if they will vote for President Obama.
"I have a disagreement with this current administration in Washington. I've made the pledge many times that I will do what is best for the state of WV," Tomblin said. But when asked if that meant he would not vote for President Obama, Tomblin didn't answer and his press person wrapped up the interview.
Tomblin's republican challenger, Bill Maloney, released this statement saying "West Virginia needs new leadership. We have a governor who is so afraid of his party bosses that he refused to answer the simple question of whether or not another 4-year term from Barack Obama is good for our state."
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