Former vice president Joe Biden fought back against his left-wing critics on Monday, reminding them about his record on climate change and saying that “there is no one who’s been stronger” on the issue.
During a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Biden called climate change an “existential threat that requires a green revolution.”
The former VP said his work in the Senate and as Barack Obama’s vice president is evidence that he walks the walk on this issue, despite the criticism being lobbed at him from some progressive activists – and 2020 rival Bernie Sanders.
“There is no one who’s been stronger, I would respectfully suggest to you, on climate and the environment, than me.” — Joe Biden
— Matt Viser (@mviser) May 13, 2019
On Monday, Bernie Sanders will join Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a rally in support of the Green New Deal at Howard University.
The rally comes as many Sanders supporters and liberal activists have been attacking Biden on climate change – even though the former vice president hasn’t actually released his proposal yet.
Biden has been a ‘pioneer’ in the fight against climate change
While many of the other Democratic candidates have valid policy proposals when it comes to battling climate change, Joe Biden is right when he says that few – if any – of his opponents have a record on this issue that measures up to his.
As PolitiFact has noted earlier this month, “Among 2020 presidential candidates, [Biden] has the longest legislative record on climate change.”
The fact checker notes that the former vice president was behind some of the earliest climate change legislation in U.S. history, which was signed into law in 1987 by Ronald Reagan.
“Life on this planet exists only under highly specialized circumstances,” Biden said when he was fighting for the legislation. “Indeed, so special are these circumstances that even a small rise in temperature could disrupt the entire complicated environment that has nurtured life as we know it.”
On Monday night in New Hampshire, the 2020 frontrunner reminded his critics that he has always been an advocate on this issue.
“I’ve been saying since 1986…we have to deal with the existential threat of climate change,” Joe Biden says.
— Matt Viser (@mviser) May 13, 2019
Progressive purists are wrong to call Biden a sellout on climate change
It’s fine for the Democratic candidates to point out why their particular policy proposal is the best way to fight climate change. The fact that Democrats are debating the best ways to tackle this issue – while Trump and his party are still claiming climate change is a hoax – is a good thing.
But it’s flat-out wrong for anybody – left or right – to say Biden has been a sellout on this issue.
Joe Biden’s record on climate change is clear. From his efforts in the U.S. Senate to his work in the Obama administration – which made unprecedented investments in clean energy, boosted fuel efficiency standards for cars, regulated greenhouse gas emissions and mobilized the international community to take on this crisis – Joe Biden has been front and center on this issue.
Any suggestion otherwise – from left or right – is silly.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.