DEMOCRATS in several states have broken with Joe Biden after he vowed to "transition from the oil industry" at the presidential debate.
During Thursday night's final debate, Donald Trump asked his opponent whether he would "close down the oil industry."
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Biden, 77, said: "I would transition away from the oil industry, yes. The oil industry pollutes, significantly. It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time."
Trump declared his rival's comment a "big statement" and then suggested it harm Biden in oil-producing states that could stand to lose jobs.
The president said: "Basically what he is saying is he is going to destroy the oil industry.
"Will you remember that Texas? Pennsylvania? Oklahoma? Ohio?"
Trump won those four states in 2016, but Pennsylvania and Ohio could both swing in the other direction come November 3, the latest polls suggest.
Following the debate, several Democratic representatives shared their disagreement with their presidential nominee's comments.
Rep Kendra Horn called the comments "one of the places Biden and I disagree," and declared: "We must stand up for our oil and gas industry."
Another Democrat, Rep Xochitl Torres Small, warned against Biden "demonizing" the oil industry.
She added that she would "continue to stand up to my party when they’re out of touch with the reality on the ground."
Later in the night, Biden appeared to go back on his comments, telling reporters that: "We're not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time… probably 2050."
He added that those who work in the oil industry will not lose their jobs, because "a lot more jobs… are going to be created in other alternatives."
Both candidates went head-to-dead last night in Nashville, Tennessee, as tens of millions tuned in across the country to watch the last in-person clash with just 12 days to go before the election.
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