Presidential races

Trump to coal country: Election ‘is the last shot for the miners’

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Donald Trump on Wednesday said miners have one “last shot” in this election, cautioning that the coal industry will be nonexistent if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency this fall.

{mosads}Speaking in Abingdon, Va., in front of miners who held up bright yellow “Trump digs coal” signs, the GOP nominee continued his outreach to the workers and vowed to protect their jobs.

“It is the last shot for the miners,” Trump said. “Hillary will be a horror show, and I’ll be an unbelievable positive,” he continued. “The miners will be gone if she’s elected.”

When Trump took the stage, he introduced leaders from the Virginia Coal and Energy Alliance who praised the real estate mogul for his unequivocal support. They presented him with a flame safety lamp that miners used underground.

Trump said he wants to focus on all forms of energy but argued that the Democratic nominee “will be worse” than the Obama administration when it comes specifically to the coal industry.

“Their jobs have been taken away, and we’re going to bring them back, folks. If I get in, this is what it is,” Trump said, pointing to the “Trump digs coal” signs.

The League of Conservation Voters fired back with a statement after the rally, saying Trump’s “rambling, incoherent speech is evidence … that Trump doesn’t understand the first thing about energy policy.”

The group’s national campaigns director, Clay Schroers, continued: “As strange as it sounded, Trump was actually right when he said  we live on ‘a small planet compared to the universe’ — but that’s exactly why we can’t afford to keep spewing dirty coal pollution into the air.

“His lack of understanding of energy markets and total denial of the costs to public health are vintage Trump — looking for short-term and short-sighted personal gain while hoping someone else will clean up the mess he leaves behind.”

Trump has been capitalizing on his relationship with a group that has felt stung by Clinton; she angered the coal industry in March by saying, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

He won a massive victory in the GOP primary in West Virginia, a state that has a large coal industry, and is trying to spread that message to other states. But only 4 percent of the coal from east of the Mississippi comes from Virginia.

Trump dinged Clinton for those comments and argued that she’ll continue to stand by them, though she has since tried to clarify her stance.

“That’s the real Hillary. That’s what she’s going to do,” Trump said. “Believe me, folks, these politicians can say anything they want, they can get away with it. It’s really disgusting.”

Trump showed more restraint than usual in his Wednesday speech, following a tumultuous few days for the real estate mogul.

He came under fire Tuesday after suggesting that gun rights supporters could take action to stop Clinton from appointing liberal Supreme Court justices, a remark that many took as advocating violence.

But Trump has pushed back on the criticism, and his campaign issued a statement that took called the media “dishonest.” He didn’t mention the comments during his Wednesday speech, only saying that the Second Amendment is “under siege.”

His speech also comes after 50 GOP officials penned a letter warning that Trump would put the country’s national security at risk and as more Republicans announce plans to vote for Clinton in the fall.

The former secretary of State has seen a large bounce in the polls nationally, as well as in battleground and GOP-leaning states, since the conclusion of both parties’ nominating conventions last month.

Trump will need to close the gap to remain competitive, and attracting working-class voters in the Rust Belt will be crucial for him in November.

Updated 5:39 p.m.

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