At a fundraiser in San Francisco Wednesday evening, President Obama took direct, and unusually blunt, aim at a faction in the U.S. Congress that played a major role in upending his plan to pass sweeping clean energy and climate change legislation.
“There are climate change deniers in Congress and when the economy gets tough, sometimes environmental issues drop from people’s radar screens,” Obama told about 200 guests at the Pacific Heights residence of internet billionaire Marc Benioff, according to an official transcript. “But I don’t think there’s any doubt that unless we are able to move forward in a serious way on clean energy that we’re putting our children and our grandchildren at risk. So that’s not yet done.”
Left unsaid here is that those climate change deniers are all Republicans. And, of course, his environment and energy agenda was scuttled by an alliance those climate change deniers forged with Democrats in fossil fuel states. For a third thing, it’s one thing to be so unvarnished at a tony Bay Area dinner party, and quite another to take that line on the campaign trail at major public rallies.
But the remark was nonetheless unusual for a President who often avoids the frank language his sympathetic advocates use.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.