California Governor Jerry Brown blasted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on NBC News’ Meet the Press on Sunday for his recent comments on climate change, calling the Tea Party favority “unfit to run for office.” Cruz had challenged late night host Seth Myers’ assertion that 2014 had been the “hottest year on record,” arguing that the data on temperature told a different story. Meet the Press host Chuck Todd played the clip for Brown, who responded by calling Cruz “unfit to be running for office.”
Brown’s response to Cruz, in full, was as follows:
What he said is absolutely false. Over 90% of the scientists that deal with climate are absolutely convinced that the human activity, the industrial activity, the generation of CO2, methane, oxides of nitrogen, all the rest of those greenhouse gases are building up in the atmosphere, they’re heat-trapping and they’re causing not just warmth [and] drought in California, but severe storms and cold in the East Coast. So it’s climate disruption of many different kinds. And that man [Cruz] betokens such a level of ignorance and a direct falsification of the existing scientific data. It’s shocking, and I think that man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office.
The temperature data, which show no warming for almost two decades, support Cruz. The “hottest year” claim for 2014 was reported with only 38% probability. And the “over 90%” figure cited by Brown has been comprehensively debunked as a myth based on a small number of flawed summaries.
Brown also castigated Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for opposing President Barack Obama’s efforts to use the Environmental Protection Agency to impose new regulations on carbon dioxide. Brown called McConnell’s efforts, including a letter sent to all 50 governors encouraging them to disregard the EPA’s efforts, “a disgrace.”
However, constitutional scholars–including liberal Larry Tribe–say the EPA is unconstitutionally commandeering state government.