In September of 2012, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign faced national criticism for producing a campaign ad accusing President Obama of “ruining the coal industry” that featured footage of miners who were forced to attend a Romney campaign rally without pay. Critics pointed to the irony of attacking Obama’s job creation record while snubbing workers of their livelihoods.
Two years later, those same miners are unwillingly part of another political campaign.
Mitch McConnell’s senate campaign appears to be using images of the miners to attack the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule regulating carbon emissions from existing power plans. In a posting on the campaign’s Facebook page, the Romney miners are prominently displayed above the headline “Who do you side with,” implying that voters have a choice between mine jobs and costly regulations. A compilation of the two:
Controversy about the original Romney ad first began after the a mine official told a local Ohio radio station that “Our managers communicated to our workforce that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend.” A group of employees told the station they feared they’d be fired if they didn’t attend the rally.