Tonight’s third GOP presidential debate found climate change relegated to the so-called happy hour event, reserved for long shot candidates. Only New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie received a climate related question on the prime time stage.
Earlier in the evening, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham was emphatic about his rationale for supporting climate change action, defending why he believes the issue transcends political boundaries.
“I’m trying to solve problems somebody better solve,” Graham said.
“I have been to the Antarctic. I have been to Alaska. I’m not a scientist and I’ve got the grades to prove it. But I’ve talked to the climatologists of the world, and 90 percent of them are telling me that the greenhouse gas effect is real. That we are heating up the planet. I just want a solution that will be good for the economy.”
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum also linked the economy and global warming.
“If we really want to tackle environmental problems,” Santorum said. “What we need to do is take those jobs from China and bring them back here to the United States.”
The most detailed climate plan of the evening came from former New York Gov. George Pataki, who called for Republicans to “embrace innovation and technology.”
“Government’s role is to incentivize innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit in America,” Pataki said. “We could have far more clean energy… let the private sector do this.”
“Not only would we solve our problems. We would have clean energy, cheaper energy here. We could export those technologies to places like China and like India so we would grow our economy, have a far greater impact globally, have a secure domestic source of energy, and cleaner, healthier air.”
The next Republican debate is scheduled for Nov. 10 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.