The Washington Post gives former House speaker Newt Gingrich a rare upside down Pinocchio for this whopper on Saturday:
“I’ve said publicly, sitting on the couch with Nancy Pelosi is the dumbest single thing I’ve done in the last few years. But if you notice, I’ve never favored cap and trade, and in fact, I actively testified against it. I was at the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee the same day Al Gore was there to testify for it, I testified against it and through American Solutions we fought it in the Senate and played a major role in defeating it.”
In fact, as the WashPost points out, in a February 2007 Interview on PBS’s “Frontline” Gingrich said:
“I think if you have mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system, much like we did with sulfur, and if you have a tax-incentive program for investing in the solutions, that there’s a package there that’s very, very good. And frankly, it’s something I would strongly support.”
That is a pretty unequivocal endorsement of cap-and-trade.
Gingrich is a major-league flip-flopper, like Mitt Romney, but somehow he gets more of a pass by the GOP base since they know he is very conservative in his core. The Post summed up Gingrich’s flip-flop this way:
As Slate columnist David Weigel has noted, cap and trade was once a very respectable conservative position and several of the GOP contenders have a history of expressing interest in it, to varying degrees.
Gingrich’s comment to “Frontline” certainly seems to be in support of a cap-and-trade system, given that he speaks in favor of “mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system.” He refers to a similar program for “sulfur,” which appears to be a nod to a successful program designed to reduce acid rain.
Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond told ABC News last month that the candidate was speaking in support of “a very limited program” when he made those remarks in 2007, unlike cap-and-trade proposals the Obama administration has pushed unsuccessfully. Hammond did not respond to requests to expand on that statement.
The Pinocchio Test
By all available evidence, Gingrich has changed his position on cap and trade. That’s fine, but it is disingenuous of him to claim that he has “never favored cap and trade.”
An Upside-Down Pinocchio
“Disingenuous” is a kind way of saying “false.”
It’s truly amazing that Gingrich has a serious chance at the GOP nomination. I’ll have to dig up my old posts on his long-standing anti-environmental, anti-clean-energy record (see, from 2007, “Anti-environment, anti-technology Gingrich tries to rewrite history. Don’t buy it or his new book“).