For nearly a year, environmental groups treated Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) as an ally as he worked on climate legislation with Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT). But in April, Graham “threw a major league curveball into the prospects for the climate bill” when he backed out of negotiations. In June, Graham announced that he would vote against Kerry and Lieberman’s bill and that he believed the science of global warming is “in question” and had been “oversold.” ClimateWire reports today that environmental groups “are ready to turn their fire” on Graham for being a “flip-flopper.” To push back against the groups, Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop claimed that Graham was just aligning himself with “real America“:
A Graham spokesman said attacks against the senator’s efforts are old hat.
“In spite of sustained criticism by environmental groups, Senator Graham remains steadfast in his belief that real America supports meaningful energy independence policy paired with good clean air policy,” said spokesman Kevin Bishop. “Whether it’s his support for the expansion of nuclear energy, domestic oil drilling, or pre-empting the EPA from issuing regulations on carbon emissions, we’re used to taking their slings and arrows.”
Bishop’s response reflects Sarah Palin’s divisive claim during the 2008 election that she represented “real America.” It’s ironic that in the same statement, Bishop touted Graham’s support for expanding nuclear energy and domestic oil drilling, considering that recent polls show support for both falling. Unless Graham and Bishop consider the majority of Americans to not be part of “real America,” it is Graham who is out-of-the-mainstream when he questions global warming and walks away from solving the problem.