Just a Theory

Black lives matter

Posts about Debate

Biden on the Green New Deal

This exchange from first presidential debate a few days ago really struck me (from the Rev transcript):

President Donald J. Trump: (57:56)
So why didn’t you get the world… China sends up real dirt into the air. Russia does. India does. They all do. We’re supposed to be good. And by the way, he made a couple of statements. The Green New Deal is a hundred trillion dollars.
Vice President Joe Biden: (58:08)
That is not my plan [crosstalk]. The Green New Deal [crosstalk] is not my plan. [crosstalk]—

A hundred trillion dollars? As David Roberts of Vox points out, “US GDP is $21.44 trillion.” But I digress.

A bewildering back and forth followed (something about insulting the military), before moderator Chris Wallace managed to right the ship:

Chris Wallace: (58:53)
The Green New Deal and the idea of what your environmental changes will do—
Vice President Joe Biden: (58:57)
The Green New Deal will pay for itself as we move forward. We’re not going to build plants that, in fact, are great polluting plants—

This impressed the hell out of me. Shortly after saying the GND isn’t his plan, Biden starts to get into its policy details to defend it? Wow. I mean, he may not agree with it all, but to respond with, “okay, so you wanna talk about the Green New Deal? I’ve got all the details, let’s go!” Props to level of policy engagement.

But listening again jut now, I realize that I missed the next bit:

Chris Wallace: (59:05)
So, do you support the Green New Deal?
Vice President Joe Biden: (59:07)
Pardon me?
Chris Wallace: (59:08)
Do you support the—
Vice President Joe Biden: (59:08)
No, I don’t support the Green New Deal.
President Donald J. Trump: (59:10)
Oh, you don’t? Oh, well, that’s a big statement.
Vice President Joe Biden: (59:12)
I support [crosstalk]—
President Donald J. Trump: (59:13)
You just lost the radical left.
Vice President Joe Biden: (59:15)
I support [crosstalk] the Biden plan that I put forward.
Chris Wallace: (59:19)
Okay.
Vice President Joe Biden: (59:19)
The Biden plan, which is different than what he calls the radical Green New Deal.

He explicitly says that the GND not his plan and he doesn’t support it. When he said, “The Green New Deal will pay for itself as we move forward,” did he mean to say “The Biden Plan”? Digging a little deeper, I don’t think so. From the actual Biden Plan:

Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face. It powerfully captures two basic truths, which are at the core of his plan: (1) the United States urgently needs to embrace greater ambition on an epic scale to meet the scope of this challenge, and (2) our environment and our economy are completely and totally connected.

So there it is. The GND may not be his plan, but it deeply informs his plan, and I’ve little doubt he could expound on it. GND champion Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez eliminates any doubt in this clap-back to a snarky tweet by Kellyanne Conway:

This isn’t news, Kellyanne.

Our differences are exactly why I joined Biden’s Climate Unity Task Force - so we could set aside our differences & figure out an aggressive climate plan to address the planetary crisis at our feet.

Trump doesn’t even believe climate change is real.

Fantastic! Let’s do this thing.