(Fwrd Axis) — With three days until election day, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) slammed President Joe Biden on Saturday for his comments on coal plants, calling Biden “divorced from reality”.
Speaking in California on Friday about the CHIPS and Science Act, Biden said, “We’re going to be shutting these plants down all across America and having wind and solar also providing a tax credit to help families buy energy-efficient appliances.”
Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat who has been vocal about his stance on coal country, blasted the President in a statement on Saturday, calling them “not only outrageous and divorced from reality”.
“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. It seems his positions change depending on the audience and the politics of the day. Politicizing our nation’s energy policies would only bring higher prices and more pain for the American people,” Manchin said.
Manchin has been a thorn in the side of Biden during his first two years in office, most notably killing the President’s “Build Back Better” agenda, which angered many Democrats. He has also refused to say if he believes Biden should seek a second term and has been reluctant to support Democratic initiatives that have prevented the President from achieving some legislative goals.
“Let me be clear, this is something the President has never said to me,” Manchin continued in an attempt to separate himself from Biden.
“Being cavalier about the loss of coal jobs for men and women in West Virginia and across the country who literally put their lives on the line to help build and power this country is offensive and disgusting. The President owes these incredible workers an immediate and public apology and it is time he learns a lesson that his words matter and have consequences,” Manchin concluded.
The White House issued its own response to Manchin, saying Biden’s words have been “twisted”.
“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,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
Manchin’s comments come just three days before the midterm elections, where Democrats are projected to lose the House and narrowly keep control of the U.S. Senate.