Rick Perry's campaign lashed out at President Obama on Monday after the president mocked the Texas governor's skepticism about man-made climate change. At a California fundraiser, Obama said "fact-based" voters should pick him over Perry and his fellow GOP candidates. "I mean, has anybody been watching the debates lately?" Obama said. "You've got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change." A Perry aide called the remark "outrageous." Is Perry being thin-skinned, or did Obama cross the line?
Obama should be ashamed: This tasteless insult shows, once again, that Obama is a "hateful hack" who "is unworthy of the office he holds," says Bryan Preston at Pajamas Media. Droughts and wildfires happen no matter what people do, yet Obama is turning Texas' lost homes, livestock, and even lives "into a craven partisan hit on the state's governor. What an idiot. What a partisan jacksnipe."
"Obama blames Texas wildfires on Rick Perry and climate change, or something"
Come on. The president has to counter GOP attacks: When Republican debate spectators are "booing gay soldiers and cheering for the sick to die," says Alex Moore at Death + Taxes, Obama must realize that "this is bound to be a long, nasty campaign." Perry is "the most formidable threat" against Obama, and by clinging to his climate-change denial while his state suffers historic wildfires leaves, he's leaving himself open to attack. "They say the best defense is a good offense."
"Obama rips Rick 'liar pants on fire' Perry"
And there's plenty more where this came from: One "big luxury" for Obama, as the incumbent, is that the GOP primary process will drive his potential opponents to the right, says Michael Crowley at TIME. In Perry's case, that will make it easier to call attention to the contrast between the Texas governor's "preference for theology over science" and the president's own "data-based pragmatism." But this is risky, too; mocking Perry over climate change delights Democrats, but it won't go over well with the many Americans who doubt the scientific consensus on climate change.
"In a preview of 2012, Obama mocks the GOP"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 11 weeknight dinners you can make without a recipe
- This is what happens when Republicans actually enact their radical agenda
- How U2 became the new Nickelback
- 10 things you need to know today: September 21, 2014
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
Subscribe to the Week