Campaigning with Clinton in Lexington, Grimes declares herself the "pro-coal candidate in this race"

08/06/2014 12:00 PM

UPDATED WITH VIDEO — In a joint appearance with former President Bill Clinton at the Carrick House in Lexington, Alison Lundergan Grimes declared her support for the coal industry — attacking U.S. Sen. Mtich McConnell on the loss of coal jobs under his watch.

Mentioning the line of attack leveled against Grimes that she would work in lock step with President Barack Obama, Clinton said, that McConnell must think Kentucky “has stopped teaching arithmetic.”

His point, Obama will only be in office until the end of 2016, and the position of U.S. Senator is a six-year term, meaning a different president will be in office in two-years.

Here are Clinton’s full remarks:

In her speech, Grimes said McConnell has it wrong on which Democratic president she supports, “I am a Clinton Democrat,” she said.

And she also made overtures for the coal vote in the Eastern part of the state which is down to just more than 11,000 jobs.

“Let me set it straight for you Mitch McConnell — I am the pro-coal candidate in this race,” Grimes said. “In 30-years Mitch McConnell has not saved one coal job and has not created one coal job.”

Grimes said that through working across the aisle in a bipartisan manner she would ensure that coal is restored to “rightful place as a prime American export and make sure it is a part of our national energy strategy.”

Now Grimes is trying to take the offensive against McConnell on the issue of coal, as she sets the stage as his failure — rather than national Democratic regulations that he has been hammering on for most of the campaign.

“This election it will be about holding Mitch McConnell accountable for his 30-years of failed leadership and all that has happened on his watch — not mine,” Grimes said.

The remarks from Grimes and Clinton were part of a fundraising event in Lexington which drew a standing room only crowd of around 500 people to the $200 a plate event which the campaign thought would generate between $250,000 to 275,000.

The McConnell campaign fired back with a statement sent before the event took place saying:

“It must not have occurred to Alison Lundergan Grimes that after Barack Obama declared the war on coal, he named the building tasked with executing his mission after the man she’s bringing to Eastern Kentucky,“McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore said in a statement. “Evidently she doesn’t think ‎Eastern Kentuckians can execute a basic google search to reveal that Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and now Alison Lundergan Grimes have every intention of continuing to attack their way of life.”

Clinton and Grimes left directly from the fundraiser to fly to Hazard to campaign on the issue of coal — and improving the economy in the region which has taken a hit with the decline in the coal industry.

Watch cn|2 Pure Politics at 7:00pm tonight for more on the visit from Clinton.


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