Kentucky coal supporters respond to Hillary Clinton

Published: Mar. 14, 2016 at 8:57 PM EDT
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Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton made comments about the coal industry at a town hall meeting in Ohio.

“We're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business. Right, Tim?” Clinton said. “And we're going to make it clear that we don't want to forget those people. Those people labored in those mines for generations, losing their health and often losing their lives to turn on our lights and power our factories. Now we've got to move away from coal and all the other fossil fuels, but I don't want to move away from the people who did the best they could to produce the energy that we rely on.

Despite saying she is committed to revitalizing devastated coal communities, coal supporters like Senator Rand Paul were quick to pounce on the comments.

"Last night Hillary Clinton said out loud what the national Democrat party has been trying to do quietly for the last eight years," Paul said. "We cannot continue to elect people from a party that is determined to finish President Obama’s War on Coal and Kentucky jobs. Kentuckians know which party in Washington is trying to destroy their state and industry, and they know I’m fighting for them every single day.”

Bill Bissett, president of the Kentucky Coal Association released this statement Monday:

"After reviewing the comments of Hillary Clinton, it is clear to me that anyone who believes in the production and use of coal in this country should have nothing to do with Clinton’s campaign to lead this nation. At a time when nearly every coalfield in this country is suffering from the second term of President Barack Obama, Clinton’s remarks are insulting to coal miners everywhere. I am especially troubled by her taking credit for ending coal jobs and opportunities by saying, 'We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.' If a comment like this one is how you secure a nomination for the Presidency of the United States, then the future for Kentucky and our country is truly bleak. I hope everyone who believes in affordable and reliable electricity listens to Clinton’s words and makes their voice heard against her on Election Day. Simply put, if you are for Hillary Clinton, then you are not for coal."