Bernie Sanders tries to avoid repeating Hillary Clinton’s coal miners gaffe, says they ‘aren’t our enemies’

By Michael Bastasch

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders stressed that coal miners and other energy industry workers “aren’t our enemies” at an environmentalist rally Monday night.

Sanders, who’s running for president as a Democrat in 2020, seems to be trying to avoid making the same gaffe his 2016 primary opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which hurt her in coal country.

“The workers in the fossil fuel industry aren’t our enemies,” Sanders said at a Green New Deal rally at Howard University. “They are working to feed their families. And that is why we will provide a just transition in the Green New Deal.”

Sanders supports the Green New Deal, which calls for a so-called “just transition” for fossil fuel industry workers to green jobs. At the rally, however, Sanders did attack fossil fuel companies, claiming they lied to the public about global warming.

Clinton was roundly criticized during the 2016 presidential election for saying, “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” Clinton gaffed while talking about how she would bring prosperity to coal country with renewable energy after shutting down coal mines and plants.

Clinton later wrote the gaffe was her biggest regret on the campaign trail.

“It wasn’t the first time that happened during the 2016 election, and it wouldn’t be the last. But it is the one I regret the most,” Clinton wrote in her book “What Happened.”

“Appearing to dismiss the men and women of Coal Country – or any Americans working hard against the odds to build better lives for themselves and their families – wasn’t something I could just shrug off,” she wrote. “This really bothered me, and I wanted badly to do something about it.”

Trump, on the other hand, promised to reinvigorate coal country by repealing Obama administration policies blamed for forcing plants and mines to shut down. Thousands of coal miners lost their jobs during the Obama years.

Trump won nearly 63 percent of the vote in Kentucky and just shy of 69 percent of votes in West Virginia in 2016. Republicans rode Trump’s coat-tails to take control of the state’s legislature for the first time since 1921.

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Michael Vadon

4 thoughts on “Bernie Sanders tries to avoid repeating Hillary Clinton’s coal miners gaffe, says they ‘aren’t our enemies’

  1. When we are in White House we’ll rapidly send this booming economy into a death spiral straight
    to the bottom of the not warming sea (0.05C increase to 1500m since 1948).

    Fixed your statement burnee…to more reflect the truth. Also you decrepit old fossil no one
    denies the climate changes only a dumb azz or leftard would think it’s stable/predictable.
    That same group thinks throwing trillions at it will fix it when mother nature will do what it want’s to do.
    Can burnee or Crazio tell us how much their plan will lower temps?? of course not as it won’t.

  2. Socialist Sanders stating “They aren’t our enemies ” well a course not, they could be a
    vote for now…….. shameless display!!

    1% Sanders, I assume all three of his properties all clean “Green ” energy homes ???

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