Andrea Mitchell Thanks 2020 Dem for Campaigning on Climate Change

During an interview with Washington State Governor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Jay Inslee on Tuesday, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell thanked him for focusing his campaign entirely on climate change. In return, Inslee praised NBC weatherman Al Roker for traveling to Alaska and producing a series of alarmist reports about the issue.

After airing some of Roker’s reporting, Mitchell brought on the Governor, touting: “With climate change of course a key issue on the minds of Democratic primary voters, Washington State Governor and 2020 hopeful Jay Inslee has made it central to his presidential campaign.” In her first softball to the Democrat, she asked: “What do we need to know about how America has been basically ignoring this, partly after the withdrawal from the Paris accords?”

 

 

Inslee needed no further urging to climb atop his soap box: “Well, we need to know that we are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change and we are the last generation to do something about it.” He then cited Roker’s hyperbolic coverage: “And we need to know that this is a matter of urgent peril, as Al just talked about. We are all on the front lines of climate change.”

Moments later, Inslee wrapped up his response by expressing his gratitude: “So I’m excited about what we’re doing and I want to thank you for covering this issue.” Mitchell reciprocated: “Well, thank you for raising the issue and bringing it to a higher level of a presidential campaign with that kind of platform.”

She then teed him up to attack the Trump administration once more: “But you know, how are we prepared?...our government doesn’t seem to be doing anything to create resiliency along our coastlines.”

“Well, it’s difficult for our federal government to act when the person at the top says that this is a Chinese hoax,” Inslee sneered before again applauding Roker: “He needs to listen to Al’s reporting to Alaska. This is real. It’s affecting every state in some way.” The 2020 hopeful also ranted that the President “doesn’t believe in gravity or the science of climate change.”

The mutual admiration society that exists between MSNBC and the field of Democrats running for president in 2020 should make for a very cozy debate on the network in June.

Here is a transcript of the April 2 exchange:

12:41 PM ET

(...)

ANDREA MITCHELL: With climate change of course a key issue on the minds of Democratic primary voters, Washington State Governor and 2020 hopeful Jay Inslee has made it central to his presidential campaign. And Jay Inslee joins me now. Governor, thank you very much.

GOV. JAY INSLEE [D-WA]: Thank you.

MITCHELL: I know you were testifying today on Capitol Hill. What do we need to know about how America has been basically ignoring this, partly after the withdrawal from the Paris accords? The message that was sent was, “We can’t really do this alone and if the rest of the world isn't doing it, we shouldn’t join in.”

INSLEE: Well, we need to know that we are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change and we are the last generation to do something about it. And we need to know that this is a matter of urgent peril, as Al just talked about. We are all on the front lines of climate change. Fires in California, flooding in the Midwest, sea level rise in Florida. Fires in Seattle so bad, in Washington State, kids couldn’t even go outside to play because the air was so bad. We’re all on the front lines.

But we need to know this is also a matter of great promise, which is an economic opportunity to grow clean energy jobs. And I was just telling the Commerce Committee in Congress about that because I’m one of the leaders of the U.S. Climate Alliance. These are 23 states that all recognize the economic possibilities inherent of putting people to work. And they’re putting people to work. The fastest growing job in America is solar installer, the second fastest is wind turbine technician. So we need to be invested with confidences in our ability to build a clean energy economy, together with urgency to get this job done.

That’s why we need a new president and I’m running what I think can be called a historic candidacy because it is an historic moment that demands leadership. So I’m excited about what we’re doing and I want to thank you for covering this issue.

MITCHELL: Well, thank you for raising the issue and bringing it to a higher level of a presidential campaign with that kind of platform. But you know, how are we prepared? As my reporting is the Pentagon, the Navy in particular, nervous about Bahrain, where the Fifth Fleet is, nervous about Norfolk, Virginia and other bases. But our government doesn’t seem to be doing anything to create resiliency along our coastlines.

INSLEE: Well, it’s difficult for our federal government to act when the person at the top says that this is a Chinese hoax. He needs to listen to Al’s reporting to Alaska. This is real. It’s affecting every state in some way.

I had Admiral Fallon talking about the national security risks associated with not only our bases being flooded, but the security threats of mass migration caused by drought that are gonna create political instability. So this is a national security situation.

But listen, we’ve got a president now that essentially doesn’t believe in gravity or the science of climate change. And we need leadership to really ignite the energies of this nation. And I believe this nation is ready for this. We are by nature an optimistic, can-do people. We know we can put people to work in clean energy jobs. But we need that spark of inspiration from the White House, like we had from John F. Kennedy.

So I am saying what I believe very deeply that this has to be the number one job for the United States. It has to be first foremost and paramount obligation of the United States. And if we do this, we’re going to build a great clean energy economy and give a chance to our kids to have a healthy future. And I think that’s a moral responsibility as well.

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