Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has renounced an advertisement he did back in 2008 with then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promoting legislation to address global warming.
“That’s probably the dumbest single thing I’ve done in recent years,” Gingrich said on FOX News Center Seat last week.
“I do think it’s important for conservatives to be in the middle of the debate over the environment,” added Gingrich, who has seen his moribund bid for the presidency surge recently. The Republican cited a book he co-authored that promotes a “pro-market, pro-entrepreneur, innovative environmentalism.”
Since rising to the top of tier of candidates vying for the Republican nomination, the ad Gingrich cut three years ago has been given a new life. Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann is one competitor who has tried to use the tv spot to show Gingrich is not a true spokesperson for the conservative cause.
“He was standing with Nancy Pelosi to advocate for a national sales tax on energy. That’s not what we need right now in our economy. He was also the chief author of the individual health care mandate and that is what is (now) known as Obamacare. No one wants to see that either,” Bachmann told CBS News.
Conservative pundits have also come down on the Contract for America author for appearing in the ad. Charles Krauthammer, speaking on The O’Reily Factor, painted Gingrich as something of a flip-flopper on the issue of global warming.
“What he’s saying now is, unlike then when he thought global warming was real, he now is an agnostic,” Krauthammer said. “And he would not, obviously, have the government spend trillions on it, as he appeared to be advocating in the past.”
When asked where he stands on the issue of global warming, Gingrich admitted that he does not know if global warming is occurring. Science, he added, is also inconclusive on the issue.
“What I do know is, when you look at what is said in that ad, finding new, innovative ways of getting cleaner energy ought to be something most Americans feel very comfortable about.”
“I testified against Cap and Trade, the same day Al Gore testified in favor, American Solutions was part of defeating it. I do not think you should have a gigantic, central government model of solution, and I don’t think you should spend trillions of dollars on a theory.”
Gingrich’s love affair with government funding for climate control is far from over, notes Paul Mulshine, who reminded readers that the candidate advocated for flex-fuel cars (that run on a combination of petrol and alternative fuels like ethanol) during a speech at the CPAC convention earlier this year.
“Anyone who knows anything about this knows that in the free market there would be no flex-fuel cars. They – and ethanol – are on the market solely because of government mandates,” Mulshine writes.