Relegated to the kids’ table in the first Republican presidential debate, climate change got nearly five minutes of airtime in the second-in-the-series prime time event hosted last night by CNN.
Moderator Jake Tapper, reading a question submitted by President Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State George Shultz, asked Florida Senator Marco Rubio “why not take out ‘an insurance policy’ and approach climate change the Reagan way?”
“Because we are not going to destroy our economy the way the left wing government that we’re under now wants to do,” Rubio responded. “Every proposal they put forward are going to be proposals that would make it harder to do business in America.”
“America is not a planet,” Rubio added. “The bottom line is I am not in favor of any policies that make America a harder place for people to live or to work or to raise their families.”
Tapper turned his questioning to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, asking “what do you make of skeptics of climate change such as Senator Rubio?”
“I don’t think Senator Rubio is a skeptic of climate change,” Christie said. “I think what Senator Rubio said I agree with. That in fact we don’t need this massive government intervention to deal with the problem… We shouldn’t be destroying our economy in order to chase some wild left wing idea that somehow us by ourselves is going to fix the climate. We can contribute to that and be economically sound.”
Rubio responded to the label of skeptic, saying “I’m skeptical of the decisions that the left wants us to make.”
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker jumped into the discussion, adding “it’s thousands of manufacturing jobs for a rule the Obama Administration, the EPA, has said will have a marginal impact on climate change.”
Tapper’s original question referenced Reagan’s presidency, when he responded to warnings from the scientific community about the ozone layer shrinking by urging industry leaders to come up with ‘an insurance plan’ in case the science was right. From Reagan’s efforts, with the cooperation of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the Montreal Protocol emerged and substances that deplete the ozone layer were phased out globally.