WASHINGTON: U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton talked to steel workers in the Appalachian region about their economic struggles on Monday, as she tried to win over blue-collar voters in a part of the country where support for Republican Donald Trump is strong.
Turning her attention beyond the Democratic Party nomination fight to a possible match-up against Trump on Nov. 8, Clinton met union leaders and some of the 600 workers who were laid off last year when AK Steel Holding Corp announced it would idle a furnace in eastern Kentucky.
She said jobs losses in manufacturing and the coal industry in the area had been a heavy blow.
“Talk about a ripple effect. It´s just devastating communities,” Clinton told workers around a table at an Italian restaurant in the town of Ashland.
She said she would look into whether assistance could be extended to Kentucky as it was to hard-hit workers after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York.
“It makes sense to try to do it in a more targeted way in situations like this,” she said.
Clinton has pledged more than $30 billion to help regions that depend on coal, but her promise was overshadowed when she said in March that the country would “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
While the Republican presidential candidates focus on Tuesday´s primary contest in Indiana, Clinton launched a trip to Appalachia this week that will include events in Ohio and West Virginia.
She has a large lead over U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination, and is making early moves to try to siphon support from Trump, who says his outsider campaign will succeed with struggling voters.
Courtesy : TheNews