Rubio: I’m No Climate-Change Denier

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. (Chet Susslin)
National Journal
Adam Wollner
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Adam Wollner
May 13, 2014, 11:21 a.m.

After tak­ing heat from Demo­crats over re­marks he made ques­tion­ing the hu­man im­pact on cli­mate change, Sen. Marco Ru­bio at­temp­ted to cla­ri­fy his stance Tues­day.

The Flor­ida Re­pub­lic­an said at a Na­tion­al Press Club lunch­eon that he’s nev­er doubted the cli­mate is chan­ging, but ex­pressed skep­ti­cism that any spe­cif­ic policy could fully ad­dress the is­sue.

“Head­lines not­with­stand­ing, of course the cli­mate is chan­ging, the cli­mate is al­ways chan­ging,” Ru­bio said. “The is­sue is not wheth­er the cli­mate is chan­ging “¦ the is­sue is wheth­er there are le­gis­lat­ive pro­pos­als be­fore us that can do any­thing about it.”

In an in­ter­view that aired on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Ru­bio said that he does “not be­lieve that hu­man activ­ity is caus­ing these dra­mat­ic changes to our cli­mate the way these sci­ent­ists are por­tray­ing it,” prompt­ing Demo­crats to la­bel him as a cli­mate-sci­ence den­ier.

At the lunch­eon, Ru­bio re­stated his op­pos­i­tion to cap-and-trade pro­pos­als, but said that he gen­er­ally sup­ports ef­forts to de­vel­op clean­er and more ef­fi­cient en­ergy, as long as they do not come at too steep of a cost to the eco­nomy. Ru­bio also ar­gued that the coun­try could not solve the prob­lem of cli­mate change on its own, not­ing that China and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries are re­spons­ible for a sig­ni­fic­ant por­tion of car­bon emis­sions.

“The truth of the mat­ter is the United States is a coun­try, it is not a plan­et,” Ru­bio said.

While cli­mate change is not shap­ing up to be a ma­jor is­sue in the 2016 elec­tion, it will still be a tricky one for Ru­bio and oth­er po­ten­tial GOP pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates to nav­ig­ate. Con­ser­vat­ives are less likely to buy in­to the sci­ence be­hind the causes of cli­mate change or view it as a press­ing con­cern, so Ru­bio isn’t at risk of los­ing sup­port among his base with his po­s­i­tion­ing. But Demo­crats see any sort of skep­ti­cism from con­ser­vat­ives sur­round­ing cli­mate change as a prime op­por­tun­ity to paint Re­pub­lic­ans as out-of-touch with main­stream voters. 

After tak­ing heat from Demo­crats over re­marks he made ques­tion­ing the hu­man im­pact on cli­mate change, Sen. Marco Ru­bio at­temp­ted to cla­ri­fy his stance Tues­day. The Flor­ida Re­pub­lic­an said at a Na­tion­al Press Club lunch­eon in Wash­ing­ton that he’s nev­er doubted the cli­mate is chan­ging, but ex­pressed skep­ti­cism that any spe­cif­ic policy could fully ad­dress the is­sue. “Head­lines not­with­stand­ing, of course the cli­mate is chan­ging, the cli­mate is al­ways chan­ging, Ru­bio said. “The is­sue is not wheth­er the cli­mate is chan­ging “¦ the is­sue is wheth­er there are le­gis­lat­ive pro­pos­als be­fore us that can do any­thing about it.” In an in­ter­view that aired on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Ru­bio said that he does “not be­lieve that hu­man activ­ity is caus­ing these dra­mat­ic changes to our cli­mate the way these sci­ent­ists are por­tray­ing it,” prompt­ing Demo­crats to la­bel him as a cli­mate sci­ence den­ier. At the lunch­eon, Ru­bio re-stated his op­pos­i­tion to cap-and-trade pro­pos­als, but said that he gen­er­ally sup­ports ef­forts to de­vel­op clean­er and more ef­fi­cient en­ergy, as long as they do not come at too steep of a cost to the eco­nomy. Ru­bio also ar­gued that the coun­try could not solve the prob­lem of cli­mate change on its own, not­ing that China and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries are re­spons­ible for a sig­ni­fic­ant por­tion of car­bon emis­sions. “The truth of the mat­ter is the United States is a coun­try, it is not a plan­et,” Ru­bio said. While cli­mate change is not shap­ing up to be a ma­jor is­sue in the 2016 elec­tion, it will still be a tricky one for Ru­bio and oth­er po­ten­tial GOP pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates to nav­ig­ate. Those on the right are less likely to buy in­to the sci­ence be­hind the causes of cli­mate change or view it as a press­ing con­cern, so Ru­bio isn’t at risk of los­ing sup­port among his base with his pos­itin­iong. But Demo­crats see any sort of skep­ti­cism from con­ser­vat­ives sur­round­ing cli­mate change as a prime op­por­tun­ity to paint Re­pub­lic­ans as out-of-touch with main­stream voters. After tak­ing heat from Demo­crats over re­marks he made ques­tion­ing the hu­man im­pact on cli­mate change, Sen. Marco Ru­bio at­temp­ted to cla­ri­fy his stance Tues­day.The Flor­ida Re­pub­lic­an said at a Na­tion­al Press Club lunch­eon in Wash­ing­ton that he’s nev­er doubted the cli­mate is chan­ging, but ex­pressed skep­ti­cism that any spe­cif­ic policy could fully ad­dress the is­sue.”Head­lines not­with­stand­ing, of course the cli­mate is chan­ging, the cli­mate is al­ways chan­ging, Ru­bio said. “The is­sue is not wheth­er the cli­mate is chan­ging “¦ the is­sue is wheth­er there are le­gis­lat­ive pro­pos­als be­fore us that can do any­thing about it.”In an in­ter­view that aired on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Ru­bio said that he does “not be­lieve that hu­man activ­ity is caus­ing these dra­mat­ic changes to our cli­mate the way these sci­ent­ists are por­tray­ing it,” prompt­ing Demo­crats to la­bel him as a cli­mate sci­ence den­ier.At the lunch­eon, Ru­bio re-stated his op­pos­i­tion to cap-and-trade pro­pos­als, but said that he gen­er­ally sup­ports ef­forts to de­vel­op clean­er and more ef­fi­cient en­ergy, as long as they do not come at too steep of a cost to the eco­nomy. Ru­bio also ar­gued that the coun­try could not solve the prob­lem of cli­mate change on its own, not­ing that China and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries are re­spons­ible for a sig­ni­fic­ant por­tion of car­bon emis­sions.”The truth of the mat­ter is the United States is a coun­try, it is not a plan­et,” Ru­bio said.While cli­mate change is not shap­ing up to be a ma­jor is­sue in the 2016 elec­tion, it will still be a tricky one for Ru­bio and oth­er po­ten­tial GOP pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates to nav­ig­ate. Those on the right are less likely to buy in­to the sci­ence be­hind the causes of cli­mate change or view it as a press­ing con­cern, so Ru­bio isn’t at risk of los­ing sup­port among his base with his pos­itin­iong. But Demo­crats see any sort of skep­ti­cism from con­ser­vat­ives sur­round­ing cli­mate change as a prime op­por­tun­ity to paint Re­pub­lic­ans as out-of-touch with main­stream voters.
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