Hillary Clinton already has a certain someone in mind for the role of manufacturing jobs czar: her husband.
In one of the first real indications of the role Bill Clinton might play if the Democratic presidential front-runner brings the family back to the White House, Hillary Clinton told hard-hit workers in coal country that she plans to take her husband “out of retirement” so he can work on bringing jobs back.
“I’ve told my husband he’s got to come out of retirement and be in charge of this, because you know he’s got more ideas a minute than anybody I know,” she said in Ashland, Ky.
The vow came as the candidate also struggled to account for her own past comments about the demise of coal jobs. She was confronted at a separate stop in West Virginia by a laid-off coal worker over her March comments that “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
“I just want to know how you can say you’re going to put a lot of coal miners out of, out of jobs, and then come in here and tell us how you’re going to be our friend, because those people out there don’t see you as a friend,” said Bo Copley, who told her he was a laid-off worker in the coal industry.
Clinton, however, said her comments in March were a “misstatement,” and that she has been talking about helping coal country “for a very long time.”
Clinton released a $30 billion plan last fall aimed at aiding communities dependent on coal production and she's promised that her husband would focus on revitalizing the region.
Clinton also elaborated in West Virginia on her plans for putting her ex-president husband to work. She said he created a lot of new jobs as president and has “pep in his step.” She said there’s nothing he wants to do more than take on the role of helping to spur job growth.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.