US House speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks to reporters on March 12, 2020 in Washington, DC (Nicholas Kamm / AFP Photo)

Pelosi did not say ‘I don’t care’ about coal miners and steelworkers

Copyright AFP 2017-2020. All rights reserved.

A Facebook post shared more than 20,000 times claims House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she does not care about American coal miners and steelworkers. This is false; there is no record of the top Democrat having spoken those words, and her office said she made no such remarks.

“I don’t care about coal miners in W.Virginia. I don’t care about steelworkers in Pennsylvania. I was elected by the people of California. They are the only ones I care about!” says the post, shared here, here and here.

A screenshot taken on March 12, 2020

Asked if Pelosi had made the remarks, Drew Hammill, her deputy chief of staff, told AFP in an email: “No.”

West Virginia, often dubbed “coal country,” is a largely conservative state. The Republican vote passed the two-thirds mark there in 2016 when Donald Trump defeated Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. 

Pennsylvania, home to some of America’s biggest steel manufacturers and producers of other metals, is a key battleground in this year’s presidential election. It moved into the Republican column four years ago, when Trump narrowly won the swing state by 0.7 per cent.

United Steelworkers (USW), a major union, issued a statement of support for Pelosi when she successfully ran for House speaker in November 2018.