Coal Miner to Clinton: How Are You Going to Be Our Friend?

May 2, 2016

A laid-off coal miner in West Virginia had some tough words for Hillary Clinton during a roundtable on Monday.

The miner referenced Clinton's offhand statement that she was going to put a lot of coal miners out of work at a town hall on CNN.

"The reason you hear those people out there saying some of the things that they say is because when you make comments, like, ‘We're gonna put a lot of coal miners out of jobs,’ these are the kind of people that you're affecting, this is my family," the miner said as he slid a picture of his family to Clinton.

"My hope is in God that's my future. I want my family to know that they have a future here in this state, because this is a great state. I've lived my entire life here," the miner said.

Later, he asked her how she can come there and act like a friend of coal miners and West Virginians.

"I just want to know how you can say you're gonna put a lot of coal miners out of jobs and then come in here and tell us how you're gonna be our friend, because those people out there don't see you as a friend," the miner said.

"I know that, Bo, and you know, I don't know how to explain it other than what I said was totally out of context from what I meant because I have been talking about helping coal country for a very long time, and I did put a plan out last summer," Clinton said. "And it was a misstatement, because what I was saying is that, the way things are going now, you will continue to lose jobs. That's what I meant to say and I think that that seems to be supported by the facts."

"I didn't mean that we were going to do it, what I said was, that is going to happen unless we take action to try to help and prevent it. So I don't mind anybody being upset or angry," Clinton said. "That's a perfect right for people to feel that way. I do feel a little bit sad and sorry that I gave folks the reason or the excuse to be so upset with me, because that is not what I intended at all."

She later accused people of misusing her statement for political gain.


Update 9:08 A.M.: A previous version of this article misspelled Bo Copley, the miner's name.