Biden says PA plant is ‘thinking of shutting down,’ but company has something to say about ‘untrue’ claim

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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had to correct himself after an interview for incorrectly stating that a Pennsylvania plant was “thinking of shutting down.”

The former vice president set off employee fears at a locomotive manufacturer in Erie during a campaign stop in Pennsylvania over the weekend. In an interview with a local news channel, Biden mentioned that he thought the company was thinking of closing, but later corrected himself. However, the initial report caused concerns at the company which ended up having to issue a statement refuting the Democrat’s comment.

Biden was speaking with Erie News Now’s Ethan Kibbe on the “tens of thousands of good-paying jobs” that could be created with high-speed rail in the U.S. when he made the incorrect statement.

“I heard today there’s a locomotive plant thinking of shutting down here,” Biden said. “I’m going to invest literally in high-speed rail. I have a record on that.”

But after the interview had ended, the presidential nominee corrected himself, according to Kibbe who said Biden explained that he had heard about layoffs at the plant and not that it was closing down. But the damage had been done, it seems.

“However, confusion and concern had already been created because many people saw the full interview on our Erie News Now Facebook page,” Erie News Now reported.

The local company, Wabtec, ended up sending employees an email to “set the record straight and let you know this statement is untrue.”

“This site and plant are an integral part of the business and our community,” Wabtec explained. “As Wabtec’s design and development hub, the Erie site is leading cutting-edge innovations.”

Earlier this year, the coronavirus pandemic forced the manufacturing plant to lay off about 300 employees at the  Erie facility, reducing its workforce to about 1,200 workers.

Biden’s incorrect statement and subsequent correction were another in a long line of campaign gaffes that the mainstream media continues to let slide for the Democratic nominee.  President Trump, who has frequently called attention to his opponent’s gaffes and mental lapses, addressed the issue again this week during a rally in Florida.

“We have somebody running that’s not 100 percent, he’s not 80 percent, he’s not 60 percent,” Trump told supporters in Sanford on Monday, warning that Biden would not be able to negotiate effectively with foreign leaders from China, Russia and North Korea who are “100 percent sharp.”

During campaign stops in Ohio on Monday. Biden appeared to forget he was running for president, urged voters to register at a nonexistent website, and was challenged by chanting Trump supporters. Former White House physician Ronny Jackson expressed his concerns over Biden’s apparent cognitive decline and recommended he be tested.

“As a citizen, not as a candidate running for Congress, but as a citizen of this country, I’ve watched Joe Biden on the campaign trail and I am concerned and convinced that he does not have the mental capacity, the cognitive ability, to serve as our commander-in-chief and our head of state,” he told reporters Tuesday.

Though Biden caught his misstatement in Pennsylvania, as president a mistake like that could create havoc, having a major effect on businesses and the markets. Twitter users weighed in the scenario.

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Frieda Powers

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