A Democratic senator says American coal workers "feel like returning Vietnam veterans" due to Washington's anti-coal stance.
In an exclusive "Face-to-Face" interview with the Washington Examiner's Lisa Boothe, Sen. Joe Manchin talks about growing up in the small coal-mining town of Farmington, W.Va., and the sense of betrayal many of those families feel today.
"My state has done the heavy lifting," Manchin said. "We produced the coal-steel guns and ships and factories and the greatest industrial might: The [American] middle class. Now we feel like the returning Vietnam veterans."
"We've done everything our country's ever asked of us," said Manchin, adding that many workers in the coal industry "think it's a patriotic duty."
"It's still tough, dangerous work and it's patriotic to [the workers]. They think 'I'm creating the energy my country needs.'"
In a wide-ranging interview, Manchin talks about going from being a governor to the Senate, voting against President Obama's Iran deal, and his suggestions for reforming the Congress.