`War on Coal:’ Hold on, Earl Ray

Photograph by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

A coal scraper in New Haven, West Virginia.

War on women?

Not in West Virginia.

It’s the war on coal.

It takes a political map to follow the course that the Republican Governors Association is taking in its attack on Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, handing the credit to Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin for challenging President Barack Obama over coal regulation. Neither Tomblin nor Manchin took part in the Democratic National Convention that renominated Obama this year.

Remember, this is the state where a federal inmate, Keith Judd, won more than 40 percent of the vote against Obama in the Democratic primary there in May.

“Obama made war on coal,” the narrator of the ad says, “pushing higher taxes, more regulation, higher taxes.”

Republican Mitt Romney, campaigning in West Virginia, also has accused the president of waging a war on coal.

The RGA ad quotes Tomblin as saying he took Obama to court over all this.

“Whoa, hold on there, partner, Early Ray did not take them to court,” the RGA ad says. “Joe Manchin did.”

“Early Ray Tomblin, all hat, no cattle.”

With ads like this on the air, the 13 percentage point victory that Republican Senator John McCain scored against Obama in 2008 could look like a squeaker.

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