RFK Jr. Says He Did Not Call Obama 'Indentured Servant' to Coal

coal industry/ABC News
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. calls President Barack Obama and other politicians who commit taxpayer money to develop clean coal "indentured servants" of the coal industry.

Environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. today said he was not including President Barack Obama when he labeled as "indentured servants" candidates in the Presidential election who support industry-backed "clean coal" projects.

"It is disappointing that ABC News' otherwise excellent interview with me about Big Coal's dirty lies was marred by a purposefully provocative and inaccurate headline," Kennedy said today.

VIDEO: Brian Ross on clean coalPlay

The headline, in a story yesterday, said "RFK Blasts Obama as 'Indentured Servant' to Coal Industry."

Kennedy, who opposes Obama's plan to spend $3.4 billion on "clean coal" projects, twice used the term "indentured servants" in an interview with ABC News.

First, when he was asked specifically about the coal industry's media campaign and the support of "

Industry Wages Ad Blitz for Clean CoalPlay

clean coal" projects by last year's Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain.

Brian Ross: So what's going on here then with these extensive campaigns and all the candidates in the Presidential election last year endorsing this?

Robert F. Kennedy: The coal industry and the carbon industry in general are the largest contributors to the political process. So, you know, you have politicians who have essentially become indentured servants to these, and adopt the talking points of these industries.

Click here to read more of Brian Ross' interview with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the issue of clean coal.

Asked in the interview about the use of Obama's comments in the coal industry's current televison commercial campaign, Kennedy said, "Well again, I think it's sad when political leaders feel that they are so indebted to these industries that they, and so fearful of them, essentially, that they have to endorse conditions that clearly are wrong."

Kennedy said today while he had referred to Obama as "indebted" he had purposefully avoided calling Obama an "indentured servant."

RFK Jr. Calls Obama a Visionary Leader

In a statement today, while saying "people who perpetuate the myth that coal is anything but dirty need to be held accountable," Kennedy added, "President Obama has proven to be a visionary leader who is committed to repowering America with clean, renewable energy like wind, solar and geothermal."

In his interview with ABC News, conducted last week, Kennedy said, "you have very sensible politicians, including great men like Barack Obama who feel the need to parrot the talking points of this industry that is so destructive to our country."

Pressed on his criticism of Obama during the interview, Kennedy said last week, "My loyalties are to my country and not to any particular politician."

"The politicians who are continuing to carry the industry water and parrot the industry talking points ultimately should be ashamed of themselves," Kennedy said.

"Including President Obama," he was asked again.

"Everybody," replied Kennedy.

Click here to read more of Brian Ross' interview with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the issue of clean coal.

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