In a move showing how politically toxic President Barack Obama has become in parts of the country, three prominent West Virginia Democrats announced Monday they will not attend the Democratic National Convention in September.
Those opting out of appearing at the gathering of Democrats from across the country to officially re-nominate Obama for president include Sen. Joe Manchin, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Rep. Nick Rahall.
“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,” Manchin said in a statement.
Manchin is running for re-election and has been trying to distance himself from Obama in a state where the president is deeply unpopular.
Under pressure from Republicans trying to tie him to Obama, Manchin has refused to commit to voting for Obama in 2012.