Three top West Virginia Democrats will literally keep their distance from President Obama by skipping the Democratic National Convention in September.
Sen. Joe Manchin, Rep. Nick Rahall and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, will not be part of the state's convention to the Charlotte, N.C., convention to officially nominate President Obama as his party's nominee, State Democratic Party Chair Larry Puccio announced Monday.
"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. "I will remain focused on bringing people together for the next generation, not the next election."
Manchin backed Obama in 2008, but has worked to distance himself this year as he seeks reelection in a state where Obama is unpopular. In April Manchin told National Journal that he had not decided if he would vote for Obama or presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Tomblin has also declined to say if he supports Obama.