During the 2016 presidential election, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton proudly told voters that as president she is "going to put a lot of coal miners out of business."
Her remarks cost her whatever support she had left in West Virginia, which hasn't gone Democratic since 1996. Coal workers confronted her at campaign stops and some even gave her the middle finger. Clinton tried to correct her "misstatement" but noted she "can't take it back." She simply offered to "support" West Virginians in any way she can.
It's a year later, but voters have not forgotten her threat against the coal industry. That's why Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is kindly asking Clinton not to visit his state as he campaigns for re-election. In this particular case, it would be best if they "separate friendship from politics."
"It wouldn't be wise for Hillary to come to West Virginia," he told MSNBC's Kasie Hunt. "It wouldn't be a good thing for her or for me."
The senator added that Clinton's remarks were "very harmful and very hard to justify or say."
Clinton's coal comments also have the potential to derail Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam's chances in Virginia's gubernatorial race, as Matt reported last week. In recent debates with his Republican opponent Ed Gillespie, Northam acknowledged that coal is "very important" to southwest Virginia and he would do his best to protect the coal industry.
Clinton's presence would likely upend that narrative.