Secretary of State John Kerry’s stark comments about climate change over the weekend — he called it “perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction” — aren’t sitting well with two high-profile Republicans and the coal industry.
“Why should he talk about climate change when we have got 130,000 people in Syria killed?” Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, asked on Phoenix radio station KFYI. McCain slammed the state of negotiations over Syria, Iran’s nuclear program, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“John Kerry and the president, they could be hitting the trifecta here. Gross failure on all three. So he has to go over to Asia and talk about climate change and say it’s the most important issue? Hello? On what planet does he reside?” McCain said Tuesday on The Mike Broomhead Show.
Kerry’s speech in Indonesia followed a visit to China that produced a bilateral statement on plans to deepen the two nations’ joint work on climate.
McCain coauthored cap-and-trade bills in 2003, 2005, and 2007, but later moved away from focusing on climate and voted in favor of thwarting EPA’s greenhouse-gas regulations.
McCain’s comments follow a series of tweets by former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who on Monday called on Kerry to resign over his climate speech in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“A delusional secretary of State is dangerous to our safety,” Gingrich said on Twitter and asked, does Kerry “really believe global warming more dangerous than North Korean and Iranian nukes? More than Russian and Chinese nukes? Really?”
Here’s Kerry’s Feb. 16 comparison of climate change to other threats in the Jakarta speech:
“When I think about the array of global climate — of global threats — think about this: terrorism, epidemics, poverty, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction — all challenges that know no borders — the reality is that climate change ranks right up there with every single one of them.”
Following McCain and Gingrich, who back in 2008 was touting his agreement with Nancy Pelosi on the need for climate action, a coal-industry lobbying group took its own shot at Kerry on Wednesday.
“The administration’s fanatical rhetoric on climate comes as no surprise; but Secretary Kerry’s attempt to equate climate change and weapons of mass destruction was downright preposterous,” said Laura Sheehan, a spokeswoman for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.
What We're Following See More »
An estimated $15.6 billion, "according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report."
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) “is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and … the Justice Department” for potentially improper contributions to his 2013 campaign, including while he was a Clinton Global Initiative board member. ... Among the McAuliffe donations that drew the interest of the investigators was $120,000 from” former Chinese legislator Wang Wenliang. “U.S. election law prohibits foreign nationals from donating to … elections. … But Wang holds U.S. permanent resident status.”
"Donald Trump is reviving some of the ugliest political chapters of the 1990s with escalating personal attacks on Bill Clinton's character, part of a concerted effort to smother Hillary Clinton 's campaign message with the weight of decades of controversy. Trump's latest shot came Monday when he released an incendiary Instagram video that includes the voices of two women who accused the former president of sexual assault, underscoring the presumptive Republican nominee's willingness to go far beyond political norms in his critique of his likely Democratic rival. ...In one recent interview, Trump said another topic of potential concern is the suicide of former White House aide Vincent Foster, which remains the focus of intense and far-fetched conspiracy theories on the Internet."
"The head of security for the Transportation Security Administration, Kelly Hoggan, has been removed from his position after a hearing about the agency's management, the House Oversight Committee says." Deputy assistant administrator Darby LaJoye will take over for Hoggan on a temporary basis.
"Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has appointed a veteran legal insider with strong personal ties to the Obama administration to serve as his special adviser focused exclusively on fixing the Washington region’s troubled Metro system. Kathryn Thomson, who was expected to leave her job as the Department of Transportation’s top lawyer, instead will stay on as Foxx’s special adviser on Metro oversight." She'll start this week.