Should he run, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s presidential platform will likely be one built largely on flip flops. As so aptly illustrated by his whiplash-inducing flip on Libya, the motivating principle behind Gingrich’s positions seems to be whether or not President Obama supports them.
Last night at a Republican fundraiser in New Hampshire, Gingrich put this principle into action, as A Think Progress explains in this repost.
After Gingrich offered that real estate mogul Donald Trump’s birther conspiracy theory presents a “fair question,” reporters pivoted to ask “if climate change is a problem government should address” “” a problem President Obama just slammed Republicans in Congress for denying exists. Gingrich said evidence for climate change is “not nearly complete” and that he viewed a cap-and-trade program as a “massively expensive” plan based on “a theory”:
“I think we honestly don’t know,” he said. “I think the evidence is not nearly as complete as the computerized models, and I think that the understanding of climatology is a lot more incomplete than the global warming advocates would have you believe.”
Gingrich said he could see taking “prudent” and cost-effective steps to address climate change but would not support any form of a cap-and-trade program.
“I would not adopt massively expensive plans over a theory,” he said.
In detailing Gingrich’s full record of change on climate change, the Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson pointed out that Gingrich actually called for a cap-and-trade system with tax incentives for clean energy in 2007, seeing “mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system” as a program “I would strongly support.” In a debate with Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) that same year, Gingrich said “the evidence is sufficient” for Congress to act on climate change.
He even joined fellow former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “” who he now views as “despicable,” “dishonest,” “vicious,” and “trivial” “” in a commercial for former Vice President Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection to say “we do agree our country must take action to address climate change.”
Just last year, Gingrich told Human Events that he would do this commercial again given the chance. “I’d do a commercial with Al Gore,” he said. As made clear by his record on climate change, it seems Gingrich will flip-flop on any of his former stances to fit the current political climate “” including his belief that “you can’t flip-flop and be Commander-In-Chief.”
– A Think Progress repost.