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Mitt Romney Jokes About Climate Change

Last night, in his speech at the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney seemed to mock the idea that President Obama wants to address the issue of climate change. Here are some of the reactions from around the web.


  1. "President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. [Pause. Laughter.] MY promise … is to help you and your family."

  2. Mitt Romney Acceptance Speech RNC - 2012 Pt 3
  3. To really appreciate the tone of the moment, you should watch Romney deliver these lines and the reaction of the crowd. It is occurs at 4:40 in the video above. I've queued up this YouTube video to this moment if you want to share.
  4. Twitter responds: 

  5. Blog reactions: 

  6. Brian Merchant wrote on TreeHugger about the implication this comment has on the broader "war on science" being waged by the Republican party:
  7. Writing at Grist, Philip Bump explains why this is a false choice: 

    What Romney argues is a classic false choice: the idea that we must either choose to save the environment or put people to work. It’s the sort of argument that lets polluters squat in poor communities, insisting that they be allowed to do as they wish or they’ll take their jobs elsewhere. It’s a choice that need not be made, as demonstrated by green jobs and the burgeoning industries built around renewables and efficiency and sustainability.

    But that’s not actually what Romney was arguing. He was arguing that Obama is a weirdo who cares more about dolphins than Americans. That Romney will be there for the kids after school with a Wonder bread sandwich while Obama is nursing a spotted owl back to health with his halo.

  8. Alex Pareene writes at Salon: 

    So Romney will only promise to help you and your family. Unless you and your family will be affected by climate change, I guess. Then no, probably no help.

  9. ClimateProgress makes an important distinction: 
    "One can mock Obama for not doing enough to keep this important promise, but not for making it in the first place."
  10. Ken Ward Jr. at CoalTattoo notes how this differs from what Romney did as Governor of Massachusetts: 
    "Of course, one of the more interesting things about what Governor Romney said last night is how starkly it contrasts with what he did when he was governor in Massachusetts. As the L.A. Times explained not long ago:

    During his first 18 months as governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney spent considerable time hammering out a sweeping climate change plan to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

    As staff briefed him on possible measures and environmentalists pressed him to act, Romney frequently repeated a central thought, people at those meetings said: That climate change is occurring, that the United States has the resources to handle its vast impact but that low-lying poor countries like Bangladesh would suffer greatly.

    “It was like a mantra with him,” said a person who attended those meetings who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the topic. “His Cabinet members would look at him like, ‘What?’ He was the radical in the room.”

    So has something legitimately convinced Governor Romney to change his mind? Or is he just pandering to the anti-science crowd who a laugh from even thinking about how human activity is changing the planet’s climate and that perhaps something should be done about that?"

  11. Did you see other good reactions to this line? How did it come across to you? Tweet us @TreeHugger or add to the comments below.