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Editorial: Words mean many different things

Regardless of your views on fossil fuels and renewables, there’s a difference between having an honest conversation about energy policy and, say, bragging about your plans to destroy the coal industry. Hillary Clinton did the latter in March, and then lied about it Monday.

While speaking this week to a small group of people in Williamson, W.Va. — located in what was once one of the top coal-producing counties in the nation — Ms. Clinton found herself on the defensive for her anti-coal comments. Eager to pander for votes, she responded by doing what she does so well: She mangled the truth rather than defend her convictions.

But Bo Copley, a 39-year-old man who had recently lost his job in the coal industry, wasn’t falling for it. “I just want to know how you can say you’re going to put a lot of coal miners out of jobs, and then come in here and tell us how you’re going to be our friend,” Mr. Copley said of the Democrat’s efforts to spin her March comments.

Mr. Copley, a registered Republican who said he was representing the protesters gathered outside the building, calmly but firmly told Ms. Clinton that people have a “perfect right” to be angry with what she said. And the candidate seemed to agree.

“I do feel a little bit sad and sorry that I gave folks the reason, or the excuse, to be so upset with me, because that is not what I intended at all,” she said. “What I said was totally out of context from what I meant. It was a misstatement, because what I was saying is that the way things are going now, we will continue to lose jobs.”

A misstatement? Yeah, right.

Now let’s look at what Ms. Clinton actually said in March.

“I’m the only candidate [who] has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country— because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business, right Tim?” she said, while smiling at a member of the audience. She added, “Now, we’ve got to move away from coal and all the other fossil fuels, but I don’t want to move away from the people who did the best they could to produce the energy that we relied on.”

In fact, Ms. Clinton’s comments were perfectly aligned with progressive sentiment on this issue, the economic ramifications be damned. As for “context,” Hillary Clinton made backhanded promises to help people while, at the same time, promising to eliminate their jobs and disrupt their lives. Then, she pretended it didn’t happen.

Speaking to reporters after Monday’s event, Mr. Copley said he would have liked to have heard more about Ms. Clinton’s plans for the coal industry were she to be elected. Sadly, he already has his answer.

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