A new radio ad in Ohio from President Obama’s campaign hits Mitt Romney on some comments from 2003 where Romney said that coal “kills people.”
“When he ran for President, Barack Obama pledged to support clean coal and invest in new technologies,” the ad says.
“And Mitt Romney? He’s attacking the president’s record on coal,” the narrator says. “Here’s what Romney said in 2003 at a press conference in front of a coal plant: ‘I will not create jobs or hold jobs that kill people. And that plant, that plant kills people.'”
The clip of Romney bashing coal comes from a 2003 press conference he held as Massachusetts governor, where the state announced a crackdown on a coal plant in Salem. Romney was booed by plant workers, but stuck by the state’s policies on the plant.
Coal is only an issue in a handful of states — including Ohio and West Virginia, but it’s a good example of a local issue with some resonance. In national television ads, the Obama campaign has highlighted clean energy — in fact, the campaign’s first ad of 2012 was about solar and wind power. Obama’s explicit embrace of coal (albeit, “clean coal”) in the ad is unlikely to win him plaudits from environmental groups, but could matter among pro-coal voters in a state like Ohio.