Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) on Thursday described comments that former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made during the 2016 campaign as "horrific" and "horrible."
Manchin prefaced his criticism by saying that he is "friends" and has had good communication with Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Still, Manchin criticized "things" the 2016 nominee said on the campaign trail, appearing to reference Clinton saying at a 2016 town hall event that she would "put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business."
"She said some horrific things, and I think, and just horrible what she said. But I knew in her heart what she meant: We're not going to leave anybody behind," Manchin said at a Politico event.
The West Virginia Democrat went on to say that people in his coal state have been "left behind" and feel like Vietnam War veterans who were not appreciated after doing their duty.
"West Virginians feel like the returning Vietnam veteran that nobody appreciated what they did for their country even though they did what they were asked to do and did their duty," Manchin said. "We've done everything we can to give the energy this country needs to make it the greatest country, but a lot of people don't appreciate that."
Clinton's comment caused what Politico described as a "thorn" in her campaign, even though she later apologized.