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

Environmentalist: Headline 'inaccurate', was referring to 'other' politicians.

ByABC News
April 21, 2009, 2:34 PM

April 22, 2009— -- 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.

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 "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."