Something incredible happened in Milwaukee tonight.
After the network showed a clip of a young conservative activist saying that climate change was the number one issue for young voters, Fox News moderator Martha MacCallum asked for a show of hands in response to her question, “Do you believe human behavior is causing climate change?”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis refused to participate, and then GOP presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy declared, “I’m the only person on the stage who isn’t bought and paid for, so I can say this: The climate change agenda is a hoax.” A crowd full of Republicans started to boo.
Most of the Republicans on stage fell short of completely denying that climate change is caused by human activity. Ramaswamy, perhaps taking a page out of the Trump playbook of making the most outlandish comment possible, came right out and said it.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie shot back, “I’ve had enough already tonight of a guy who sounds like ChatGPT.” Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley went so far as to venture, “Climate change is real.”
But moderator Bret Baier seized not on Ramaswamy’s blatant denial of the scientific consensus on climate change, but on his claim that he was the only candidate on the stage who was “not bought and paid for.” Baier took turns asking candidates, “Are you bought and paid for?” In classic Fox News fashion, a moment that could have provided insight into how far Republicans are willing to go to please young voters concerned about the environment devolved into senseless crosstalk. Still, for a party that has spent years ignoring or denying the biggest threat to our planet’s future, tonight’s responses were actually, almost, a little bit refreshing.
Watch the moment below:
Someone’s having a melt down over climate change… pic.twitter.com/HUWQZCoZXK
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) August 24, 2023