Earlier this month, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) sought to distance himself from President Bush by calling for a mandatory limit on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. “I will not shirk the mantle of leadership that the United States bears,” McCain said in a speech at a wind power company.
On his campaign website, McCain (R-AZ) calls himself “a leader on the issue of global warming,” which he says is “an issue we can no longer afford to ignore“:
John McCain has a proud record of common sense stewardship. Along with his commitment to clean air and water, and to conserving open space, he has been a leader on the issue of global warming with the courage to call the nation to action on an issue we can no longer afford to ignore.
But apparently McCain’s idea of leadership goes only so far. In a press conference yesterday, McCain said he would skip an upcoming vote in the Senate on “a landmark bill imposing mandatory limits on greenhouse gases”:
In a press conference late Wednesday afternoon, McCain said he did not support the bill sponsored by two of his closest allies, Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) because it doesn’t offer enough aid to the nuclear industry, and he would not come to the floor to vote on it.
“I have not been there for a number of votes. The same thing happened in the campaign of 2000,” he said. “The people of Arizona understand I’m running for president.”
Earlier this month, McCain said that he hoped the bill, which was introduced by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA), “will be passed” and that “the entire Congress will join in supporting it.”
Responding to McCain’s decision to skip the vote, Lexi Shultz, deputy director of the climate program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told the Washington Post that “If you don’t come back to vote on the bill, you can’t say that you’re all that serious about taking action on climate change.”
Bill Scher has more on McCain’s “incoherence” on climate change.