Bill Clinton Praises McCain on Climate Change

by: Matt Stoller

Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 21:01

Just great.

Clinton says the next president needs to make climate change a major issue of his administration, or risk the ecological and financial consequences. He also praises politicians on both sides of the aisle -- including presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain -- for recognizing the importance of sound environmental policy. "I do think it's fair to say that, among all the Republicans, Sen. McCain had the best position on climate change. I think that Sen. Obama and the Democrats have a better position, but I think McCain deserves credit for moving his party."

McCain did not support the Lieberman-Warner bill, an incredibly weak bill to cap carbon emissions, which was filibustered by his party.  Al Gore has praised McCain on this issue recently as well.  How exactly has McCain moved his party on this issue again?

Matt Stoller :: Bill Clinton Praises McCain on Climate Change

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it's post partisan! (4.00 / 1)
Obama should be thrilled.

No surprise... (0.00 / 0)'s the 2012, "I told you so" strategy....

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

Ughh. (2.67 / 3)
You know, I can understand Gore saying something like that. It's his life's work now, and he has been fairly bi-partisan about it ever since he decided to make it his life's work.

But, I'm sorry, Bubba's just using the issue to try to reclaim his "statesman" role after crawling around in the partisan sewers for six months.

Fortunately. (3.00 / 4)
Nobody takes "Bubba as Environmentalist" seriously anyway, least of all the people of Arkansas, whose waterways were choked with chicken waste due to one of his big donors.

[ Parent ]
Disgusted (4.00 / 2)
Right now, at this moment, I'm more disgusted with the Democratic leadership than the Republicans.  Republicans show up to work everyday, and despite the fact that they are the minority, they find ways to get things done for the people who work to put them in office. Democrats?  Not so much.  

Shut up, Bill! (0.00 / 0)
Geez. What a jerk.  

McCain isn't a denialist on global warming (4.00 / 1)
That alone puts him in the 20% or so segment of his party that aren't denialists.

It's actually honest to admit to that distinction between McCain and his party, and acknowledge the fact that it took some courage for McCain to stick to his guns on this during the GOP primary (in fact, this is just about the only thing that he didn't flip-flop much on during their primary and over the last 3-4 years).

After FISA, I have a hard time to imagine that Obama would've assumed a position in the primary that 80% of Democrats disagreed with. Is there even one such position?

The fact that McCain a denialist isn't the be all, end all on global warming. He also needs a good plan on global warming. Gore endorsed Obama probably partly because he finds Obama's plan to be (somewhat?) better.

You really should stop playing a WATB on this, Matt. It's beneath you to be telling people not to tell the truth.

Should read: (0.00 / 0)
"The fact that McCain isn't a denialist..."

[ Parent ]
that's not what Clinton or Gore said (0.00 / 0)
They didn't say 'I acknowledge McCain has admitted global warming exists and he should be commended for that', they said that he has a solution to it though his solution is not as good as Obama's.  That is 100% false.  

[ Parent ]
Your attribution to Gore isn't a direct quote (4.00 / 1)
and it may not even be attributable to Gore as Kreider is an environmentalist in her own right and hence she probably has her own views/observations on this (as I've pointed out with a blockquote below.)

Besides, McCain does have a plan, and so Kalee was stating a fact. Why should she be bound by your expectations of partisanship on her part? Truth-telling is what we should expect from people, not partisanship to suit our taste.

I don't recall what Gore said when he endorsed Obama about the differences b/w the plans of Obama and McCain, but should someone ask him, I am sure that Gore would be glad to give his take on it. And even there, I would expect him to tell it like it is, i.e give an honest and accurate account, instead of a partisanship-tinged version.

[ Parent ]
reading comprehension (4.00 / 1)
I'm not particularly partisan, actually, but this is getting tiresome.  Kreider is speaking as Gore's spokesperson, I emailed with her in that context, and you are just being stupid by trying to pretend like Gore's operation didn't authorize those comments when he clearly did, in print, and over email to me.

Gore and Clinton are saying things that are not true about McCain.  If you want to hold up praising both Republicans and Democrats as the epitome of truth, fine.  But that's just as dishonest as Republicans who deny global warming.

Bush had a plan on global warming which involves lots of stuff that doesn't do anything about global warming.  McCain has a plan on global warming that involves lots of stuff that doesn't do anything about global warming.

Why should Clinton and Gore lie about McCain on this?  Why?

[ Parent ]
sorry (0.00 / 0)
I was talking about Kreider emailing me, not Gore.

[ Parent ]
Grist probably knows better than you do (0.00 / 0)
on this matter, and they said: McCain's climate plan, 11 May 2008 (which excerpted from below). Read it.

"reading comprehension"

Fine, I missed the "asked" part in your HuffPo post:

I asked Kreider why she is praising McCain, considering that Bush lied in 2000 about his intent to deal with climate change. Here's her response.

   The key threshold issue for most NGO's and people working on climate, ourselves included are: Does the policymaker, work, support, vote in favor of, introduce legislation for mandatory reductions in pollution or not. McCain has, Bush has not.

And there we go. If you want to know why John McCain is trusted, it's not just that he has a base in the media. Democratic Party elders - including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton - just fall all over themselves to praise him (he's met the commander-in-chief threshold how, exactly?).

Seems to me that she gave a satisfactory reply as to why she considers McCain to be on the pro-global warming action side  compared to Bush.

McCain, despite being a Republican, was pushing global warming legislation as far back as 2003:

Summary of The Lieberman-McCain Climate Stewardship Act
(As debated in the U.S. Senate on October 30, 2003)

On October 30, 2003, Senators Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT) and John McCain (R-AZ) brought a revised version of their Climate Stewardship Act of 2003 (S.139) to a vote in the United States Senate. While the measured failed by a vote of 43 to 55, the vote demonstrated growing bipartisan support for a genuine climate change policy.

In the primaries, he was running around trying to educate the Republicans by sticking with his belief that global warming is real and that we should act on it. Doing either of these was swimming against the tide in the GOP and even a potential political suicide.

OTOH, thanks in part to Gore's efforts, if a Dem were to come to the 2008 presidential race w/o a good climate change plan, they would not have won the nomination period. So it didn't take courage for a Dem to run w/ global warming prominently on their agenda in this cycle.

[ Parent ]
Can't help but wonder... (0.00 / 0)
...if this doesn't make it harder for McCain to solidify his base, though.

"That John McCain, he isn't a real conservative.  Hell, even Bill KKKlinton and Al Gore were kissing his ass for being anti-business!"

I can see my father-in-law posting that on FreeRepublic already.

Yeah I blog.

[ Parent ]
The point is .. (4.00 / 2)
Clinton or Gore shouldn't be saying anything nice about the Republican nominee right now .. they don't have to say means things about McCain .. but nothing nice either

[ Parent ]
Gore should tell is like he sees it. Period. (0.00 / 0)
As should everyone, actually, but Gore is and should be above this sort of childish partisan play on this issue where he has always tried his best to make a non-partisan appeal across the globe.

What Matt was whining about re. Gore is quite a bad case of playing a WATB. He was quoting Kalee Kreider (Gore's spokesperson, but also an environmentalist in her own right, from what I gather from googling) who said:

April 9, 2008

"They both call. And I appreciate that fact," Gore said on the CBS television program "60 Minutes" last week.

Obama, the Democratic front-runner, says he keeps in regular contact with Gore and has pledged to make him a major player on global warming in an Obama administration.

"I will make a commitment that Al Gore will be at the table and play a central part in us figuring out how we solve this problem," Obama said.

Clinton told reporters she did not know whether Gore wanted to get back into government but was sure the American people would welcome it.

"I am very dependent upon the work that Al Gore has done for so many years on behalf of climate change," she said.

Gore's spokeswoman, Kalee Kreider, declined to comment on the Obama offer and was complimentary about the presidential candidates, including Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

"Former Vice President Gore thinks that both candidates are very strong.

Both of them have offered plans to address the climate crisis ... as has Senator McCain," she said.

"It's a real turnaround to have candidates on both sides of the aisle offering, you know, solutions and plans to the climate crisis."

Kalee volunteered in her second and seperate sentence that McCain offered a plan on global warming which is indeed a FACT. It is entirely possible that when she volunteered that FACT about McCain, she wasn't paraphrasing Gore, but instead mentioning  on her own a fact that she happens aware of. Again, she's an environmentalist herself and Gore probably doesn't sit there disciplining her to be a partisan.

Yet, Stoller directly attributed that to Gore and pounced on Gore with posts here and mucking it up at HuffPo as well and now repeats the same in this post. That's pretty lame of him to do.

Even if she was paraphrasing Gore or Gore said so on another occasion, it still remains a fact that McCain DOES have a climate change plan.

Yes, the Republicans lie and cheat and that means that we should fight harder to defeat their debauchery, but we don't have to lie, cheat and/or hide the truth to counter their games.

Clinton, OTOH, is a politician probably even in his sleep. He may have been playing some game here but we don't know that for fact; it's entirely possible that he was merely stating an honest opinion of his. If he goes on and on about it w/o trying to give an edge to Obama on this issue, then there'd be a cause for concern, but I don't yet see it.

Matt, please take note of my observations and stop smearing Gore with this because we don't know if Kalee was paraphrasing Gore or volunteering on her own the fact that McCain has a plan.

[ Parent ]
blah blah (0.00 / 0)
This is what Gore's spokesperson said: "It's a real turnaround to have candidates on both sides of the aisle offering, you know, solutions and plans to the climate crisis."

Kreider is Gore's spokesperson.  People usually hire spokespeople to speak for them, as Kalee did here.  I can't believe you are criticizing me for attributing to Gore what Gore's spokesperson said.  She's supposed to speak for him!  What's wrong with you?

Her point was also a lie, which she knows as a well-educated environmentalist.  McCain does not have a solution or plan to the climate crisis.  He has a plan that says global warming in it, but you know what?  So did Bush in 2000.

[ Parent ]
That's ridiculous. Gore endorsed Obama (0.00 / 0)
and that by far subsumes what his spokesperson Kreider said back in April. That by itself is a reason for you to stop recycling ad infintum your smear of Gore.

"It's a real turnaround to have candidates on both sides of the aisle offering, you know, solutions and plans to the climate crisis."

Even this statement is valid. McCain actually has had several climate change bills. The fact that a Republican was proposing those bills DOES make a difference; it makes it hard for the usual Dem capitulators and conservatives like Ben Nelson with no excuse for voting against such bills, in addition to getting some votes from NE GOP senators like Snowe, Collins. So, Bill Clinton was right too in that McCan probably had a significant influence in moving the GOP a little bit on this towards accepting global warming as a fact and doing something about it. Credit should be given where it is due.

Whether those plans were good or not is a separate question. Here's what Grist had to say:

McCain's climate plan
Republican candidate's climate proposals better than expected but still behind the curve
Posted by David Roberts at 11:09 PM on 11 May 2008

Finally, McCain takes an entirely sensible line on international negotiations, pledging to lead the post-Kyoto UN process and offer incentives to sweeten the pot for China and India to sign on. He also says that in the event they will not sign on, he'll support trade mechanisms that would penalize them for the carbon content of their exports (something Obama also supports). However, his policy adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin assures me -- contra what he implied earlier this year -- that McCain will implement mandatory caps in the U.S., regardless of whether China and India follow suit.

So what's the overall verdict? I'll explore the plan more in coming days, but my initial reaction is that it's better than expected, somewhat short of Lieberman-Warner, and far short of what Obama has proposed. It should comfort us that a McCain presidency will mean real action on climate change, not the shell game Bush is engaged in. But it's hard to see how McCain can claim the allegiance of voters who rank climate change as a top concern. He's still behind the curve.

Clearly, Roberts and Grist DO think that McCain has a global warming plan and have some positive things to say about it.

[ Parent ]
Oops (0.00 / 0)


I would not at this time make those -- impose a mandatory cap at this time.

Now, that happened after Gore's quote. But if he really wants to help with climate change, maybe he should issue a fucking press release revoking that statement, right? And what's Bill's excuse?

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
To add (0.00 / 0)
As of right now, McCain does not have a plan with a mandatory cap, which means he does not have a plan to address climate change. Clinton was therefor flat out wrong. Gore's issues statement was at the time justifiable (though it sure makes Kriedler look bad and Matt look good that McCain flipped 2 months later) but is now completely unjustifiable.

There is only one candidate who has a plan to deal with climate change, which means there is only one candidate who deserves praise on the issue.

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
Forgotten facts (0.00 / 0)
You did not state the fact that Bill Clinton is back into his philanthropy work and the event that he gave that speech wasn't a political one.

Yet another attempt to smear the Clintons.  

Give me a break.... (0.00 / 1)
Steven can someone really be that naive. Did you have someone type this for you?

[ Parent ]
It's not an attempt to smear the Clintons .. (0.00 / 0)
considering the assholes we have for a TradMed ... we don't need to give them any more excuse to have an orgasm over McCain

[ Parent ]
McCain's showcase issue (4.00 / 1)
It's really a monumental betrayal given that, by all accounts, the environment is a showcase issue on which McCain intends to distinguish himself from Bush. This is  truly extravagant treachery on the part of BC.

[ Parent ]
And that is why .. (0.00 / 0)
Gore needs to stop too .. because we don't need to give McCain anything to show how he is different from Bush on .. no matter how big or small

[ Parent ]
FUCK BILL CLINTON!!!! (2.00 / 2)
Example #6,584 that Bill Clinton betrayed absolutely everything that the Democratic Party stands for, and can't seem to stop putting his foot in his mouth to praise Republicans.

Seriously ... when we're done kicking out Joe Lieberman, let's do Bill Clinton next.

Matt (0.00 / 0)
I think some Dems think that the Dem climate change proposals will be unpopular and try to innoculate Dems against criticism by Repubs by saying "McCain too."

just a guess

clinton gift giving (4.00 / 1)
so Bubba does again what he does so well in taking his anger out on Obama: he gives with his left hand and takes away with his right...praises Obama and then praises is NOT being diplomatic. it is NOT being presidential (he doesn't know how to do that anyway). it is about undercutting Obama at every turn.
if Obama picks Hillary as a running mate we will get 8 years of this shit.

Now you know how we feel (0.00 / 1)
When we read something that you write.

The liberal wiki
Send an email to

we? (0.00 / 0)
Is there more than one of you?...How many of you are in there?

Yeah I blog.

[ Parent ]

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