Gingrich regrets 2008 climate ad with Pelosi; conservatives still not amused

In a radio interview Tuesday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich admitted that he regrets making a climate-change advocacy advertisement with California Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi in 2008.

For many conservatives, however, the sentiment is too little, too late.

“I was trying to make a point that we shouldn’t be afraid to debate the left, even on the environment,” the Hill reported Gingrich said on WGIR radio about the television commercial. “Obviously it was misconstrued, and it’s probably one of those things I wouldn’t do again.”

The Hill noted that as late as January, Gingrich was sticking to his guns about the ad.

“I meant exactly what I said in that commercial,” he said then.

Gingrich came under fire from conservatives for his participation at the time of the ad’s release. The commercial has continued to dog Gingrich as he attempts to seek the Republican nomination for president.

While he may regret the ad, and he may be backing away from the ideas associated with it, conservative critics are still not amused. (RELATED: Exclusive: Cain to hold roundtable talk with American Muslim leaders)

“Newt Gingrich regrets that he made a television ad sitting on a love seat with then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi on behalf of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection only because it has come back to bite him politically,” Competitive Enterprise Institute director of energy and global warming policy Myron Ebell told TheDC. “Had a cap-and-trade bill been enacted with bipartisan support, as looked likely when he made the ad for Gore’s group, Gingrich might be crowing about how he led Republicans to support sound energy-rationing policy.”


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Climate Depot, a website devoted to debunking the claims made by global warming advocates, has taken at least partial credit for pressuring Gingrich into voicing regret. Nevertheless, for Climate Depot proprietor Marc Morano, Gingrich’s words hardly make up for his past actions.

“We are still scratching our heads as to why Newt refers to [the] Pelosi ad as some kind of ‘debate’ that was ‘misconstrued,’” Morano wrote. “Mr. Gingrich, please just admit your whopper of a mistake and stop trying to spin your embarrassing behavior.”

James M. Taylor, senior fellow for environment policy at the Heartland Institute, told TheDC that while Gingrich seems remorseful, it took him quite a long while to back away from the commercial. (RELATED: Rudy takes on mobsters, but will he take on Obama?)

“I am glad to hear Newt Gingrich say he believes it is important to ‘debate’ Nancy Pelosi and other global warming alarmists on the alleged global warming crisis. To the extent Gingrich’s actions were allegedly ‘misconstrued,’ it sure took him a long time to correct the record.”

American Enterprise Institute resident environmental expert Kenneth Green was more forgiving, telling TheDC that the climate debate should not be a good-guy-versus-bad-guy conversation, and that politically, inter-party efforts can result in criticism.

“Cross-aisle efforts do put you at risk of being, not so much seduced, but misused,” said Green. “If you are not careful you can agree to work with someone, assuming that they are working in good faith, when in fact what they want to do is to use what you’re going to give them to portray you in a false light. I don’t know if that is what happened to Newt or not, but I’ve seen it happen before.”

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  • Ventura Capitalist

    “we shouldn’t be afraid to debate the left, even on the environment”

    It’s not much of a debate when you’re out there perpetuating the hoax right along with them.

  • Russell C

    Regarding Marc Morano’s Climate Depot web site, he very graciously allowed me to write an exclusive for the site about another politician who needs to explain his contradictory words – except my article was about Al Gore and the narrative about skeptic scientists being on the payroll of fossil fuel industries. Please see “Smearing Skeptic Scientists: What did Gore know and when did he know it?” http://www.climatedepot.com/a/11168/Climate-Depot-Exclusive-Smearing-Skeptic-Scientists-What-did-Gore-know-and-when-did-he-know-it

    This is no longer about science, it’s about efforts to marginalize critics using efforts bordering on libel/slander, and it is about journalistic malfeasance of epic proportions since nobody in the mainstream media ever bothered to check the veracity of the accusation against skeptic scientists.

  • joeaiello

    The Tea Party/Republican Party is the only political party left on earth still too stupid to understand carbon pollution caused climate change. The whole world gets it but the Koch Industries run Tea Party is paid off to look the other way. They are nothing but corporate lap dogs. Good luck in 2012!

    • Drawer22

      Once again, we have proof that even the ignorant are entitled to voice an uninformed opinion about which scientists vehemently disagree among themselves. Climate change, for those who haven’t been listening, is cyclic – but may God bless America for affirming the right of ideologues to spout extreme falsehoods!

  • Bruce Kennedy

    There’s not much about Newt’s political life that he doesn’t regret.

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  • blueridge

    Newt’s strength is on policy but is wasting his time thinking he has any chance to become the republican nominee. His couch ad and calling Ryan’s plan right wing social engineering shows Newt wants some love from the liberal press and that makes some feel uncomfortable.