CNN Presses Two GOP Guests on Global Warming, But Not Dem Guest

As two Republican officeholders and one Democrat appeared as guests in separate segments on Friday's New Day, CNN hosts repeatedly pressed the two Republicans from the left about the Paris Accord, but the Democrat was simply asked what his views were without challenge.

Both Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota were preoccupied with whether President Donald Trump believes global warming is a "hoax," with Camerota so fixated that she spent most of one interview pressing on that same question over and over again. Camerota's Republican guest eventually called out some of her reasoning as being "silly."

During the 7:00 a.m. hour, Cuomo spoke with New York Rep. Chris Collins, and spent the entire segment debating the Republican congressman. At one point, he accused Collins of "dancing" on the issue and "denying science." Cuomo:

I don't know why you would have to deny science to make jobs? I don't get it. You can dance if you want, but no scientist has told you that there's no global warming problem, and our President says it's a hoax. You don't see a disconnect there that's a problem?

A bit later, Camerota hosted Connecticut Democratic Rep. Jim Himes, and, after spending most of the segment discussing the Russia investigation, she posed one question inviting the Connecticut Democrat to give his views on President Trump pulling out of the Paris Accord. Camerota:

Congressman, what's your reaction to the President pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord. I know you're in Berlin right now, so obviously you're getting an earful from people overseas. What's your reaction?

After Himes spent almost a minute and a half railing against the President, Camerota merely concluded the segment with no pushback: "Congressman Himes, thanks so much for taking time out of your schedule for New Day."

But in the next hour, when the same Camerota was interviewing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, she spent the entire nine and a half minutes debating him on the issue, and devoted the first two-thirds of the interview to pushing her guest on whether Trump still believes global warming is a "hoax."

After devoting the first seven out of 12 questions to the "hoax" issue, she then moved on to fretting over whether China would take advantage of Trump's decision to boost its own standing in the world. Camerota portrayed the U.S. as just being the leaders of Nicaragua and Syria as she pressed:

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So just so we understand, what you're saying is that we're now going to lead just Syria and Nicaragua. There is no renegotiating. Europe countries say they're not going to renegotiate this treaty. They're happy about this accord. They're happy with it. So where does that leave us in terms of leading the global community?

After Zinke dismissively responded, "I don't think the United States is going to bow or bend to Nicaragua," Camerota followed up: "No, but, I mean, that's who we're now placed with in terms of the three countries that aren't connected to it anymore -- Syria, Nicaragua, the U.S."

Zinke called her out for being silly as the discussion continued:

RYAN ZINKE, INTERIOR SECRETARY: That's silly.

CAMEROTA: That's true. Those are the numbers.

ZINKE: The United States is still the world's leader. That's silly. The United States is still the world's leader. If you want to look at obligations of the countries, just look at NATO. I mean, who contributes to NATO? Everyone's supposed to do two percent of the GDP.

Below are transcripts of relevant portions of the Friday, June 2, New Day on CNN:

7:24 a.m. ET
CHRIS CUOMO: I'm happy to get into the economic stuff all day long with you, but I do think we have to start with what this accord was really about, right? This is about environmental stewardship and an international recognition of everybody except Syria and Nicaragua and now us in consensus about the science on global warming. Why won't any of the White House advisors or the President say whether or not he believes that greenhouse gases are a problem and that global warming is real? [REP. CHRIS COLLINS (R-NY)]

All right, so let's take that one at a time. One, we'll see if you guys get better deals, right? That's going to be the measure on Iran which you guys haven't touched. Even though he said he would, he hasn't touched it. We'll see if you get a better deal here. He says he he wants to renegotiate. France and Germany that's not on the table, but we'll see. However -- [COLLINS]

He just said he might renegotiate it. He just said he would yesterday, so you can talk to the President about getting on the same page with message. The President just said he wanted to renegotiate. But let me ask you this. The premise: This wasn't about global warming. How can you even say those words, Congressman? It was all about the consensus of science. That's what motivated. Read the accord. Look at the agreements that went into it, the understandings at the top of the accord.

It's all about a recognition of the science. That's why I'm asking you how odd it is that the President won't even say what he believes, and that his advisors are twisting themselves into knots to avoid answering the question, defaulting to: "You'll have to ask him." I'll ask you. Do you think that President Trump believes that global warming is a hoax?

REP. CHRIS COLLINS (R-NY): Oh, I have not talked to the President directly about it. 

CUOMO: You've never discussed this with him? When you were deciding to support him, it never came came up? Never? You don't care what he thinks? [COLLINS]

I understand what you didn't like about the deal. And he could have changed. Remember, as you keep saying, it had no teeth. It was nonbinding. It's not a treaty. It didn't even go to the Senate. This was an executive action. It's not a joke to everybody else in the world, right? Because it's only Syria, Nicaragua, and us, so it's not a joke internationally, and there's tons of confirmation, including from Exxon, Shell, and Chevron. [COLLINS]

COLLINS: No, they were laughing at us. They were laughing at another bad Obama deal. [COLLINS]

CUOMO: Well, I don't know how you can say -- how can you say that because people are laughing --

COLLINS: Because we made the hard pledge, and other countries didn't. We made the hard pledge -- the other countries did not -- they were saying, "Boy, we got Obama again.

CUOMO: And what is your proof that they were saying that "We got Obama"? Who said that?

COLLINS: Just read the agreement. We made the hard pledge to reduce 26 to 28 percent --

CUOMO: It doesn't say that in the -- right, and other people made their own pledges. They made pledges that they thought they could accommodate in that period. [COLLINS]

But he could have changed -- he could have changed his parameters. I'm just saying he didn't have to leave. I get why he left. He left because it was a promise that he made, and you guys were selling a portion of the American people on the proposition that you're going to bring back coal jobs. And a lot of people are going to be waiting for that. You're going to be tested on whether or not you do it. [COLLINS]

You think you're going to be able to bring back those coal jobs to people? You think you're going to have a big boom in fossil fuels and even in coal? [COLLINS]

Well, that's, look, that's highly debatable, but every country's going to determine its own future path. We'll see what the President's decides for us with you in Congress. But the last point is again the first point. On global warming, that's what this is about -- an international recognition of a recognized problem by all, okay? That we have problems with greenhouse gases, and we all need to address that. Do you accept that premise? [COLLINS]

Did any of the scientists tell you that global warming isn't a problem? Did any of them tell you that? Any? [COLLINS]

I understand, but I don't understand why it's an "either-or" proposition. I don't know why you would have to deny science to make jobs? I don't get it. You can dance if you want, but no scientist has told you that there's no global warming problem, and our President says it's a hoax. You don't see a disconnect there that's a problem?

COLLINS: Well, I have not discussed this with President Trump.

CUOMO: Should you?

COLLINS: I've not heard him use the word "hoax."

CUOMO: You just went to the Arctic Circle. Don't you want to know if the President agrees with the scientists you just traveled all the way up there from New York to the Arctic Circle to find out about?

COLLINS: No, I needed to do my own investigation. I came back -- and I've always said that human behavior has an impact on climate. There's no way you could ever debate that.

CUOMO: The President says that you're selling a hoax.

COLLINS: But I also found out that the dire predictions are not as dire as some people have made.

So the models may be off. It's an inexact part of this, but the science that is the foundation of it -- look, I got to go. We don't have enough time. But this is an important thing for the American people to hear. You didn't hear any scientists say that there's no global warming. You say you don't know what the President thinks about it. We just pulled out of an accord that has every country in it except Syria, Nicaragua and us, on the basis of understanding about global warming. 

(...)

7:36 a.m. ET
ALISYN CAMEROTA: Congressman, what's your reaction to the President pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord. I know you're in Berlin right now, so obviously you're getting an earful from people overseas. What's your reaction?

REP. JIM HIMES (D-CT): Well, you know, it's funny. I was just listening to my colleague, Chris Collins, talk to Chris Cuomo. And, you know, I just -- my head was spinning, you know. It's not just the fact that we've joined the elite company of Nicaragua and Syria in rejecting this deal, but, of course, pretty much every business leader in America, including a lot of the President's own people -- from Goldman Sachs to Apple to Google -- have said this is a terrible idea. 

So I understand the President feels some obligation to I guess fulfill and campaign promise, but this is a promise that is built on lies. And my colleague, Chris Collins, you know, first of all, saying that this bound us to a bad deal. This really wasn't a deal. This was a series of voluntary pledges that every country made as part of this -- voluntary pledges. Now, Donald Trump could have said, "I don't like the pledge that Barack Obama made, and so I'm going to alter that pledge." That at least would not have put us at odds with the entire rest of the world and a good chunk of the American job-creating economy.

You know, the speech that the President gave in the Rose Garden,  it was sort of hard to parse that speech for something that was actually factual or fair. It was this long stream of campaign rhetoric that had no bearing on reality. And, look, the best evidence is the fact that the whole rest of the world and most of the American business community completely rejects the steps that the President took yesterday.

CAMEROTA: Congressman Himes, thanks so much for taking time out of your schedule for New Day.

(...)

8:21 a.m. ET
CAMEROTA: Now, last night and this morning, White House officials have not yet been able to say whether President Trump thinks that climate change is a hoax. ... Does the President thin climate change is a hoax? [RYAN ZINKE, INTERIOR SECRETARY]

Yeah, and we'll get to the details in a second. I do want to get to that. But the overarching question is: Does the President still think that climate change is a hoax? He had tweeted about that in the past. Does he today believe it's a hoax? [ZINKE]

Well, look, Europe has said they have no interest in renegotiating. They're happy with it as it exists, but I think this isn't irrelevant. Mr. Secretary, just so that I can get an answer, this is relevant because it does inform the President's decision-making. Does you believe that climate change is happening? Does the President? [ZINKE]

Have you asked the President? Have you asked him if he believes in climate change? [ZINKE]

Yeah, I mean, what's interesting, of course, Mr. Secretary, not to interrupt you, but it was voluntary. I mean, the President could have changed the tenets of the agreement. In fact, it's up to every country what they want to do. So the President could have done that. But, again, I just need to -- hold on, Mr. Secretary, we will get into the details -- but I just want to get to this overarching question because here's what the President has tweeted about climate change. He has said -- this was in February of 2015 -- "Among the lowest temperatures ever in much of the United States, ice caps at record size. They changed the name from global warming to climate change." [ZINKE]

Here's where he calls is a hoax. This is in 2014. He says, "Massive, record-setting snowstorm and freezing temperatures in U.S. Smart that global warming hoaxsters changed name to climate change." Then he has lots and lots of dollar signs.
[ZINKE]

He thought it was a hoax. He's on the record as saying it's a hoax. Have you tried to convince him otherwise? [ZINKE]

So if you believe in climate change and the President thinks it's a hoax and you feel that the U.S. should do something I assume about climate change, how are you going to convince the President that it's not a hoax?  [ZINKE]

Are you concerned now that China can take the reins and step into the leadership position? [ZINKE]

Sure. So your competitors are now going to take the leadership in this agreement. [ZINKE]

So just so we understand, what you're saying is that we're now going to lead just Syria and Nicaragua. There is no renegotiating. Europe countries say they're not going to renegotiate this treaty. They're happy about this accord. They're happy with it. So where does that leave us in terms of leading the global community?

ZINKE: I don't think the United States is going to bow or bend to Nicaragua because, but, you know --

No, but, I mean, that's who we're now placed with in terms of the three countries that aren't connected to it anymore -- Syria, Nicaragua, the U.S.

RYAN ZINKE, INTERIOR SECRETARY: That's silly.

CAMEROTA: That's true. Those are the numbers.

ZINKE: The United States is still the world's leader. That's silly. The United States is still the world's leader. If you want to look at obligations of the countries, just look at NATO. I mean, who contributes to NATO? Everyone's supposed to do two percent of the GDP.

CAMEROTA: Right, but on this, let's just stay focused on this accord because we were seen as leaders on this accord. We back out, and that gives an opening to China.

NB Daily Regulation Environment Global Warming Foreign Policy Double Standards Conservatives & Republicans CNN New Day Video Chris Cuomo Alisyn Camerota Donald Trump Chris Collins


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