Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney used Glenn Beck-style appeals to conspiracy theories about George Soros and climate change in his successful campaign against Newt Gingrich in Tuesday’s Florida Republican primary. Romney attacked fellow climate flip-flopper Newt Gingrich for his appearance in a commercial on a “loveseat” with Nancy Pelosi for Al Gore’s climate campaign in 2008. In the ad, Gingrich endorsed “action to address climate change.” In a public email, Romney’s campaign spokesman Ryan Williams bashed Gingrich as being part of the “Soros agenda” for the advertisement:
It is interesting to see the latest attack from Speaker Gingrich and his disintegrating campaign. Unlike Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney never sat next to Nancy Pelosi in an ad funded by George Soros on behalf of Al Gore’s global warming initiative. As recently as 2008, the Soros agenda had no better friend than Newt Gingrich. Nice try, Mr. Speaker.
The extremist lurch of the Republican Party away from climate policy shows how American conservatism has been taken over by anti-science fossil fuel interests like the Koch brothers. In 2007, Gingrich, eventual Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), and other prominent Republicans advocated for market-based limits on greenhouse gas pollution. During the 2008 campaign, McCain’s campaign lurched into the embrace of radical anti-science ideologues like Koch operative Nancy Pfotenhauer and Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK). With the onset of the Obama presidency, Gingrich became a leader in the politically motivated fight against cap-and-trade legislation, working with Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, the Koch front group Americans for Prosperity, and the radical climate denier network to convince Tea Party activists that climate legislation was a liberal-elite conspiracy.
In order to lock up the Republican nomination, Romney has now joined this anti-science climate denial movement with gusto.
Download Romney’s “Newt & Nancy’s Loveseat” mailer.