WH claims Biden’s words were ‘twisted’ when he said ‘we’re going to be shutting [coal] plants down’

After President Joe Biden got called out for his damning comments on the coal industry days before the midterm, even the White House struggled with another of their signature walk backs as “regrets” were offered when apologies were due.

A suggestion of compromise from the president can readily be viewed as a surrender, whether big or small, to the progressive movement or, as Cass Sunstein had put it, a nudge. Friday when speaking in California, Biden had touched on one of the bigger nudges in advancing the green agenda as he tore down the coal industry and previewed the shutting down of plants.

“I was in Massachusetts about a month ago on the site of the largest coal plant in America. Guess what?” Biden said. It cost them too much money. They can’t count. No one is building new coal plants because they can’t rely on it. Even if they have all the coal guaranteed for the rest of the existence of the plant.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre issued a statement Saturday where she attempted to smooth over some of the rougher edges of the president’s remarks, but the message remained inherently the same, “[President Biden] knows that the men and women of coal country built this nation: they powered its steel mills and factories, kept its homes and schools and offices warm. They made this the most productive and powerful nation on Earth. He came to the White House to end years of big words but little action to help the coal-producing parts of our country.”

She went on to claim, “Working closely with Senator Manchin, a tireless advocate for his state and the hard-working men and women who live there, President Biden has helped get this part of the country back to work: the unemployment rate in West Virginia was 6.2% the last month before Joe Biden took office; now it is down to 4%.”

The trouble was that West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D) didn’t see it that way as he released his own statement hours before the White House decrying Biden’s comments as “not only outrageous and divorced from reality, they ignore the severe economic pain the American people are feeling because of rising energy costs.”

“Comments like these are the reason the American people are losing trust in President Biden and instead believes he does not understand the need to have an all in energy policy that would keep our nation totally energy independent and secure,” the senator went on before later adding, “Let me be clear, this is something the President has never said to me,” as he demanded Biden apologize to coal workers.

Still, Jean-Pierre tried to promote Biden’s endgame as she wrote, “The President’s plans are already bringing new energy and manufacturing jobs to the region, and in the years ahead, will continue to create new jobs with projects like hydrogen energy generation. In fact, through the Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities, President Biden has already delivered more than $23 billion to energy communities across the country.”

However, there was no getting around what the president himself had said Friday which included the blunt assertion, “So its going to become a wind generation. And all they’re doing is it’s going to save them a hell of a lot of money and using the same transmission line that they transmitted the coal-fired electric on, we’re going to be shutting these plants down all across America and having wind and solar power…”

To that end, the press secretary offered her non-apology, “The President’s remarks yesterday have been twisted to suggest a meaning that was not intended; he regrets it if anyone hearing these remarks took offense. The President was commenting on a fact of economics and technology: as it has been from its earliest days as an energy superpower, America is once again in the midst of an energy transition.”

“Our goal as a nation is to combat climate change and increase our energy security by producing clean and efficient American energy. Under President Biden, oil and natural gas production has increased, and we are on track to hit the highest production in our country’s history next year,” she continued with disputed talking points. “He is determined to make sure that this transition helps all Americans in all parts of the country, with more jobs and better opportunities; it’s a commitment he has advanced since Day One. No one will be left behind.”

The damage had already been done and people chimed in to let Jean-Pierre know it.


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