Hillary Clinton discusses jobs, coal during Ashland visit

Hillary Clinton meeting with supporters in Ashland. (Credit: Sean Moody)
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ASHLAND, Ky. (WKYT) - There were people from both sides out here on the sidewalk Monday.

Some were thrilled to see Democratic Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. Others said Clinton was not welcome here.

Clinton is targeting a region that has been economically depressed by the decline of the coal industry. She spoke to voters at Alma's Italian restaurant in Ashland Monday afternoon.

Clinton said she has a plan for helping people who've lost all kinds of jobs across Appalachia.

"It's not only coal. We've got economic pressures in Appalachia that have to be addressed overall and what I'm saying is that I'm laying out a plan. I'm telling people what I want to do," Clinton said. "I'm telling voters hold me accountable. I'm not just here today gone tomorrow. That's not the kind of person I am. I can't promise that were going to have a miracle but I can promise were going to work hard to do everything possible to create economic opportunity in one of the most repeatedly important geographically well-placed parts of our country."

Clinton has been heavily criticized for previous comments in which she said her policies would put coal companies out of business. She has since said those comments were mistakes, and she is standing by coal communities.

On Monday, Clinton listened to people talk about job losses, particularly in the coal and steel industries. She said she thinks she can reinvigorate job growth to get unemployed people working again here.

"We've got to take a step back and say 'OK how are we going to actually create jobs?' How are we going to -- in the global economy -- provide enough incentive to get people to bring their jobs here to Eastern Kentucky to West Virginia to Southeast Ohio?"

After her talk, Clinton went into a downtown store and bought cookies from Girl Scouts before going on to West Virginia, where she was expected to speak with retired miners in West Virginia.

Both Clinton and her Democratic rival Sen. Bernie Sanders are campaigning in Kentucky this week ahead of the state's primary on May 17.

Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, will campaign for his wife on Tuesday. He is scheduled to attend events in Lexington, Morehead and Louisville.

He is expected discuss Hillary Clinton's plans to raise incomes and break down the barriers that are holding Kentucky families back," according to a news release from the Clinton campaign office.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton's Democratic rival for a Democratic presidential nomination, will be in Louisville Tuesday at 4 p.m. His rally will be at the Waterfront Park.

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