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Romney ad: Obama would 'bankrupt' coal companies

Mitt Romney released a new ad Thursday targeting President Obama on coal as the Republican presidential nominee looks to rebound with Appalachian swing voters.

The ad is the latest in a vicious back-and-forth between the campaigns on the issue of coal, an important economic driver in Ohio and Virginia, two of the most significant swing states in November.

In the latest Romney spot, the Republican nominee highlights a 2008 interview with Obama in which he said he supported legislation that would "bankrupt" a company that tried to build a new coal plant.

"President Obama is attacking Mitt Romney because Mitt Romney supports coal miners," the ad's narrator says. "But it’s Barack Obama who said, 'So, if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it’ll bankrupt them.' "

The ad continues on to argue the president's plan threatens job creation.

"Obama wages war on coal while we lose jobs to China, who's using more coal every day," the narrator says. "Now your job is in danger. Mr. President, let us keep our jobs."

The clip referenced in the ad was cut from an interview in 2008 with the San Francisco Chronicle, in which Obama details his cap-and-trade proposal that would charge for greenhouse emissions. Obama did take an aggressive stance in the interview against new coal, although he also emphasized that "we have to figure out how can we use coal without emitting greenhouse gases and carbon."

The maneuver was similar to an attack ad launched by the Obama campaign earlier this week that quotes Romney saying of a coal plant, "that plant kills people" and that he would not support new jobs there. But the Romney campaign has said Romney was referring to a single coal plant that was a notorious polluter during his time as governor of Massachusetts.

A poll released earlier this week from YouGov found that 59 percent of voters in Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania supported the use of coal as an energy source, underscoring the resonance of the issue in these presidential battlegrounds.