Coal Miners Fire Back After Biden Says They Should Just Learng How to Program
By Jack Davis
January 3, 2020 - Former Vice President Joe Biden is being criticized for a recent comment claiming that workers in the nation's coal industry should be able to be retrained as computer programmers after he kills off their current jobs.
The Democratic presidential candidate has said that coal industry jobs need to be sacrificed at the alter of climate change, and on Monday said miners should be retrained for the time when coal mines are closed.
“Anybody who can go down 300-3,000 feet in a mine sure in hell can learn how to program as well,” Biden said. "Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program for God’s sake.”
Chris Hamilton, co-chair of the West Virginia Coal Forum, said Wednesday on the Fox News morning program "Fox & Friends" that the attitude was reminiscent of the Obama administration's antipathy to coal.
"It's just inconceivable how someone, particularly in his position could advocate putting tens of thousands of working Americans out of work," he said. "But it comes as no surprise. Former Vice President Biden has repeatedly demonstrated his disdain for mining and for our coal miners."
Hamilton said miners are more skilled than Biden might understand.
"Listen, these coal miners absolutely love what they do and they recognize the importance and value. It's a very honorable profession. Our miners are very highly skilled at what they do. They do it with great pride and sophistication and they're technologically advanced so, Vice President Biden is correct in that regard," Hamilton said.
Rachel Campos-Duffy, a "Fox & Friends" anchor who also hosts the Fox Nation series "MOMS," said Biden appeared to be channeling 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in her "deplorables" remark of 2016 that alienated many Americans.
"I think this is his 'deplorable' moment, honestly, I really do. This is so patronizing, the idea that they're just throwing coal into a furnace like we're living in 'Oliver Twist' times," Campos-Duffy said Wednesday.
"This is a highly technical industry now. It's not the way he's describing it. And by the way, I don't want to be a soldier in the Army, I don't want to work in a coal mine, but some people do want to do these jobs. And for him to say everyone should program and that's the only respectable job there is? Completely patronizing, condescending," she said.
Biden's comment did not play well on Twitter.
Hill.TV host Saagar Enjeti compared Biden's remark to another Clinton gaffe.
“Biden seems truly content with trying to do a rerun of her worst hits as a candidate,” he said Tuesday.
During her 2016 presidential campaign, Clinton said, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
Enjeti said Biden's comment comes off as snobbish.
“His answer belies the utter contempt for the dignity of real work in this country and it buys into a false narrative that coding is the highest achievement that one can have in America,” Enjeti said.