Newt Gingrich discussed his views on climate change and cap and trade at the Huckabee Presidential Forum, which aired on Fox News on December 3, 2011:
Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia Attorney General: Mr. Speaker, you speak passionately about first principles and small government -- smaller government – yet you’ve supported individual mandates for health insurance, joined Nancy Pelosi with respect to climate change, advocated for a significant role for the federal government in education, and had close ties to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Why should limited government conservatives like me trust that a President Gingrich will not advance these sorts of big government approaches when you are President?
Newt Gingrich: …I’ve said publicly, sitting on the couch with Nancy Pelosi is the dumbest single thing I’ve done in the last few years.
But if you notice, I never favored cap and trade.
In fact, I actively testified against it.
I was at the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee the same day Al Gore was there to testify for it.
I testified against it.
And through American Solutions we actively fought it in the Senate.
And I think we played a major role in defeating it.The former House Speaker and 2012 Republican presidential candidate also reiterated his desire to eliminate the EPA as we know it today:
Scott Pruit, Oklahoma Attorney General: President Obama seems to think Washington has all the answers to our national problems, but as you know all national problems don’t require national solutions.
Can you name some national problems that neither the President nor Congress should solve?
Newt Gingrich: … I want to develop an Environmental Solutions Agency to replace the EPA with an agency which has to have economic rationality, has to look for innovation and entrepreneurship, and has to collaborate rather than dictate to state and local governments.Later in the evening, Newt Gingrich answered a follow up question about his 2006 television ad with Nancy Pelosi:
Scott Pruit: Mr. Speaker, I want to follow up a little bit on the appearance with Nancy Pelosi.
Newt Gingrich: Yes.
Scott Pruit: … and climate change. You’ve said and you said earlier this evening that was the dumbest thing you’ve ever done.
Newt Gingrich: Well, in recent years. I don’t want to run my whole career through it.
Scott Pruit: Was it done because it was bad politics or done because it was bad policy?
Newt Gingrich: Well, first of all what I said there I think was accurate, which was that you need innovation and you need to look at positive ways of solving things.
I was trying to make a case about a conservative environmentalism, which is the reason I am for an Environmental Solutions Agency to replace the EPA.
It was largely done because, frankly, she became so radioactive that it was impossible for any conservative to be in the same set and not have everybody go, “That’s crazy!” and so they never heard your message.
I wrote a book with Terry Maple called Contract with the Earth and it was an effort to argue that there were sound, promarket science and technology innovations that would lead to a better environment, actually a more improved environment than you get out of lawyers and regulators and the EPA.
Watch full video of the Huckabee Presidential Forum below. Newt Gingrich's remarks on climate change start at 2:41; on the EPA at 6:30; follow up question on Nancy Pelosi ad at 10:10.