At this afternoon’s White House press conference, spokeswoman Dana Perino launched into a snippy tirade against Sheryl Crow and Laurie David for approaching Karl Rove on Saturday night to discuss the administration’s environmental policies.
“I think it’s unfortunate that people who have an impassioned view about a topic don’t take the time to afford the President the same respect that they are asking for. The President’s record on climate change is very strong,” Perino said. “I don’t know know why they can’t take yes for an answer.” She added, “I wish they would channel some of that Hollywood energy into something constructive rather than baseless finger-pointing.” Watch it:
First of all, in response to affording the President respect, the last time we checked Karl Rove is not the President.
Second, Sheryl Crow and Laurie David did nothing disrespectful towards Rove during the dinner. As David explains, “We asked Mr. Rove if he would consider taking a fresh look at the science of global warming. Much to our dismay, he immediately got combative.” To the extent disrespect was shown, it was exhibited in Rove’s comment that “I don’t work for you, I work for the American people.”
Third, Bush and Cheney’s record on climate change is far from “strong.” They refuse to take the basic step of acknowledging the science that humans are a major contributor to global warming. Moreover, they have reneged on their electoral promise to curb carbon dioxide emissions.
UPDATE: The Washington Times’ offers a profile of Perino:
Mrs. Perino’s work on environmental issues is a passion, fueled by her upbringing in Evanston, Wyo. Growing up, she often helped her grandfather with his annual cattle drive in Newcastle. “She’s a conservationist conservative, with some real solid Western roots,” Mr. Connaughton said. “I’m a strong environmentalist,” said Mrs. Perino, who called the White House’s approach to climate change “a model for the world.”
QUESTION: Can I ask you — there’s been a lot of chatter over the last couple days about this confrontation that Karl Rove allegedly had with a couple of celebrities about global warming, climate change. What was Karl Rove’s reaction to being confronted at the dinner…
PERINO: I think Karl Rove just wanted to have some fun on Saturday night. And I think he wasn’t the only one. I think that it’s unfortunate that people who have an impassioned view about a topic don’t take the time and afford the president the same respect that they are asking for.
The president’s record on climate change is very strong. I do not understand why they can’t take yes for an answer. The president has acknowledged since the beginning of his term that climate change is real. He has a different approach of how to help solve the problems, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t acted.
We have provided billions of dollars in terms of resources to develop the new technologies that are not only going to help solve that problem, but will also help lift people out of poverty from around the world because they need the clean energy that everyone else needs in order to help their economies grow.
QUESTION: But it was not until this last State of the Union that he mentioned climate change, right? So…
PERINO: Absolutely not.
PERINO: In the State of the Union?
QUESTION: In the State of the Union.
PERINO: Well, in the State of the Union, but that doesn’t mean that people weren’t actively working on things. I could point you back to the 2003 State of the Union, in which he announced the FutureGen project, which is a zero-emissions coal-fired power plant which is currently underway in terms of its development and is a 10- year plan.
And what we would hope is that, once we get that technology, we’ll be able to transfer it to developing countries that are going to use coal like Mexico and South Africa and China — which, by the way, is building one power plant a week that uses coal.
PERINO: So we have big climate change challenges ahead of us. And I just wish that they would channel some of that Hollywood energy into something constructive, rather than baseless finger-pointing.
QUESTION: Did Rove leave early because he was angry, because of the…
PERINO: Rove left to get in a motorcade to go home. That’s what we all have to do (inaudible) to the motorcade. I had to stay behind.