On Tuesday, former Obama car czar Steven Rattner, who reportedly owns a 15,000-square-foot Martha’s Vineyard mansion and pilots a private jet, blasted “climate-change deniers” on MSNBC’s Morning Joe broadcast.
Rattner’s comments came during a debt discussion wherein host Joe Scarborough said the following:
Steve Rattner, this time yesterday we had Paul Krugman on the show, and you had actually sent in an e-mail talking about your concerns that Krugman suggests we don’t have to worry about long-term debt so much. He said deficits, long-term debt, are number five, maybe number six on the list. You took exception to it and you said that denying the coming debt was like being a climate-change denier.
That’s when Rattner replied:
Yeah, I think actually Mika started that analogy and Paul Krugman basically said the opposite. And to me, being a debt-denier is the same thing as being a climate-change denier. We’re putting millions of tons of carbon into our atmosphere every day that we’re going to have to deal with and we’re incurring billions of debt everyday that we’re going to have to deal with. And sure, they’re different problems, but I think it’s the same issue: do you recognize the problems now and deal with them, or do you simply sit and let it fester until something really bad happens?
Rattner is the co-founder of the multi-billion dollar private-equity giant Quadrangle Group, which has managed approximately $5 billion worth of New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s massive wealth. Rattner and Bloomberg are reportedly good friends as well as neighbors.
During the 2012 presidential election, Steven Rattner became a lightning rod during debates over the Obama auto bailouts. In a Detroit News editorial by Gov. Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential contender described the Obama car czar as “a politically connected and ethically challenged Obama-campaign contributor” whom Obama asked to “preside over all this as auto czar,” and who ultimately helped promulgate “crony capitalism on a grand scale.”
Romney’s statement that Rattner is “ethically challenged” likely refers to the New York state pension kickback scandal wherein Rattner agreed to pay back the State of New York $10 million and to “refrain from ‘appearing in any capacity’ before any New York pension fund for the next five years,” according to Fortune. The pension kickback scandal came on the heels of Rattner’s prior Securities and Exchange Commission agreement to pay back $6.2 million and submit to a two-year ban from the securities industry.