SIMI VALLEY — Retired neurosurgeon and presidential candidate Ben Carson responded to California Gov. Jerry Brown over climate change in the spin room at the GOP debate Wednesday night.
Brown had challenged Carson earlier in the month, sending him a flash drive with the latest UN climate report.
Asked by David Siders of the Sacramento Bee for his response, Dr. Carson said: “It doesn’t change my opinion. My opinion being that, as responsible human beings, we should look out for the environment. And I don’t think we have to make it into a big political issue.”
Carson told reports on Wednesday that he was “already quite familiar with the data,” the Bee notes.
The day before the GOP debate, which took place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Brown referred to the candidates as “merchants of destruction.” The day of the debate, he spoke with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and addressed the climate change issue again.
In the interview, Brown said “Mr. Carson totally failed the fundamental test of leadership and that is to speak out against these big issues.”
Brown recently suffered a setback when moderate Democrats in the California legislature rebelled against his climate change legislation over fears that low-income workers would be burdened with the increased fuel and energy costs that would ensue as a result.