Miss America Contestants Take on Trump Over Paris Climate Accord, Charlottesville

“There is evidence that climate change is existing and we need to be at that table.”

On Sunday, Cara Mund, a 23-year-old graduate from Brown University, was crowned the newest Miss America, making her the first contestant from North Dakota to win the title. But it’s her critical response to a question regarding the president and climate change that appears to be eclipsing her historic win.

“I do believe it’s a bad decision,” Mund said when asked about Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate treaty. “Once we reject that, we take ourselves out of the negotiation table and that’s something that we really need to keep in mind. There is evidence that climate change is existing.”

“So whether you believe it or not, we need to be at that table and I just think it’s a bad decision on behalf of the United States.”

While Miss Texas Margana Wood did not win the Miss America crown, she sparked loud applause with one answer criticizing the president’s response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. 

“I think that the white supremacist issue, it was very obvious that it was a terrorist attack,” she said. “I think that President Donald Trump should’ve made a statement earlier addressing the fact, and in making sure all Americans feel safe in this country. That is the number one issue right now.” 

As of Monday morning, Trump has yet to attack either contestant on social media.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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