In an interview with Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) this morning, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien did what many television anchors have failed to do in discussions about the clean energy loan guarantee program: come prepared with facts.
Senator Johnson attempted to re-hash “pants on fire” GOP talking points on Solyndra and the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program. But rather than take the claims at face value, O’Brien, who had clearly done her homework, easily deflated Johnson’s claims with a blunt statement of the facts.
Late in the interview, O’Brien incredulously responded to Johnson’s rant about the Soviet Union: “You surely are not suggesting that the concept behind Solyndra and other green energy technologies like Solyndra is comparable to the Soviet Union and Cuba, right?”
Johnson confirms he is indeed comparing loan guarantees — a policy long supported by mainstream Republicans — to Soviet economics. Ironically, Johnson’s manufacturing company, Pacur, expanded in the 1980′s with the help of a $2.5 million government-subsidized loan.
Check out the interview below. As candidates continue to push the bogus “crony capitalism” messaging around clean energy, let’s hope more television reporters can be this prepared: