Climate Change Squall Between Obama and Marco Rubio Teams
Around the State
President Barack Obama’s and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s, R-Fla., teams have tangled in recent days as the senator from Florida continues to leave the door open to running for president in 2016.
At the end of last week, Organizing for Action, the heir to Obama’s Organizing for America, took aim at Rubio for comments he made earlier this month on climate change.
"I think severe weather has been a fact of life on earth since man started recording history,” Rubio said on “CNN Tonight” two weeks ago. “I understand that there's a vast consensus of scientists that are saying that human activity is what's contributing to changes in our climate. I think it's an enormous stretch to say that every weather incident that we read about or the majority of them are attributable to human activity."
Rubio repeated those comments on ABC’s “This Week” last week during an interview with Jon Karl.
"I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it," Rubio said.
The Republican also said government efforts to fight climate change often hurt the economy. "I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy," Rubio said.
Jon Carson, the executive director of Organizing for America, pounced on Thursday, insisting Rubio “doubled down on doubting climate science.”
“Sen. Marco Rubio said in an interview this week that he didn't believe scientists are right in stating that human activity is affecting climate change,” Carson insisted. “Sometimes you just have to call it like you see it: Marco Rubio is a climate change denier.”
Insisting that denial is “dangerous” and “nonsense,” Carson called for supporters to call Rubio out on the issue. Carson also pointed toward Florida, insisting the Sunshine State faces perils due to climate change.
“Miami is one of the American cities most vulnerable to rising sea levels -- they've already risen 8 inches since 1870, and it's speeding up: a recent report said they could rise another 2 feet by 2060,” Carson noted. “Despite all that, Sen. Rubio denies the science behind climate change.”
Rubio’s team fired back on Friday night with Terry Sullivan from Reclaim America, a PAC associated with the Florida Republican, looking to rally Republicans against Obama.
“When President Obama's political arm, Organizing for America, sends out an email attacking you, you're doing something right,” Sullivan insisted. “Clearly, the Obama machine is targeting Marco.
“There's no telling how much money the professional left is making off of attacks like this, even though they know the laws they are proposing -- like job-killing cap-and-trade -- will be devastating to the American economy,” Sullivan added.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.