Coal country lawmaker takes bite out of Clinton

CLEVELAND — Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoAnyone for tennis? Washington Kastles Charity Classic returns this week The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment White House, Congress inch toward debt, budget deal MORE (R-W.Va.) used her prime-time speech Tuesday to appeal to voters in coal country — slamming President Obama and reminding viewers of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGeorge Takei: US has hit a new low under Trump Democrats slam Puerto Rico governor over 'shameful' comments, back protesters Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE’s comments about miners.

“In 2008, President Obama famously said, ‘If somebody wants to build a coal- powered plant, they can. It's just that it will bankrupt them.’ Eight years later, it's safe to say that his actions match his words,” she said.

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“Not to be outdone, Hillary Clinton has already promised ‘to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business,’” Capito continued. “She wants to put thousands more Americans out of work.”

In the crowd, dozens of delegates held “Trump Digs Coal” signs. They booed at every mention of Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. 

Capito said people in coal country feel the administration has “kicked them to the curb,” and that this has left her constituents distrustful of government.

The coal industry is a major part of the West Virginian economy, but also makes up crucial electorates in swing states Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Capito, who won election to the Senate in 2014 after seven terms in the House, also took the opportunity to also slam the former secretary of State on her private email server.

“Hillary Clinton is proudly promising to put them out of work? Now, we shouldn't be surprised by this,” she said, “because Hillary Clinton understands coal miners and blue-collar workers about as well as she understands secure email.”

“A day in the life of a coal miner and a day in the life of Hillary Clinton could not be more different,” Capito said.

Ben Kamisar contributed to this story.