Trump brings campaign to West Virginia and vows to put miners back to work
CHARLESTON, WV (WCHS/WVAH) -- Coming to the stage with West Virginia's signature theme song "Country Roads" blaring in the background, Donald Trump took the stage before a sign waving, cheering crowd and vowed to jump-start the state's coal industry.
"I think you're amazing people," Trump told audience members gathered at a packed Charleston Civic Center. "If I win, we're going to bring those miners back, and you're going to be so proud of your president."
Coal was one of the centerpieces of the event, and it was clear from the signs that read "Trump Digs Coal." The crowd roared when Trump announced that the West Virginia Coal Association had endorsed him for president.
"Let me put it this way. It was between me and who we affectionately call Crooked Hillary [Clinton]. And it only took them 20 seconds," Trump said.
Chris Hamilton with the West Virginia Coal Association then took the stage and presented the Republican presidential candidate with a hard hat, which Trump put on to the delight of the crowd. When Hamilton presented it to Trump, he referred to him as "Mr. President" and said that the honor was being bestowed on Trump on behalf of the "best coal miners in the world" who produce the safest and most environmentally sound coal in the world.
West Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Cole, who just this week endorsed Trump, also joined Hamilton on stage with Trump.
Trump talked about his numerous victories in the primaries and even though he appears to have the nomination sealed, he said he didn't have the heart not to come to West Virginia.
"I'm just glad to be here. You're the real people. You made this country. You didn't have these ridiculous regulations that you couldn't compete. We're going to take that off the table," he said.
Trump also chided Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who was in West Virginia this week, for comments she had made previously when she made a reference to putting miners out of work. Clinton later said she had made a misstatement and said when she visited the Mountain State that she would work hard to see that mining communities are not forgotten. Trump mentioned a miner who had sat down at the table with Clinton when she came to West Virginia and said he didn't appear very happy.
During the rally, Trump repeatedly mentioned mines and miners.
"There's always been something about West Virginia. I've always been fascinated by the mines and the courage of the miners and the way the miners love what they do," he said.
Trump also spent a portion of speech talking about his primary victories in other states. He said he still believes the election process is a rigged system but he doesn't care now because he won.
"If you knock 'em out, you don't have to worry about the jobs," Trump said.
Here's the full video from Trump's event: