Here is the transcript of Marco Rubio’s climate comments from last night’s GOP debate:
JAKE TAPPER: Senator Rubio, the Miami mayor has endorsed you. Will you honor his request for a pledge and acknowledge the reality of the scientific consensus of climate change and pledge to do something about it?
RUBIO: Well, sure if the climate is changing and one of the reasons is because the climate has always been changing.
RUBIO: There’s never been a time when the climate has not changed. I think the fundamental question for a policy maker is, is the climate changing because of something we are doing and if so, is there a law you can pass to fix it?
So on the issue of flooding in Miami, it’s caused by two things. Number one, south Florida is largely built on land that was once a swamp. And number two, because if there is higher sea levels or whatever it may be happening, we do need to deal with that through mitigation.
And I have long supported mitigation efforts. But as far as a law that we can pass in Washington to change the weather, there’s no such thing.
RUBIO: On the contrary, there is laws they want us to pass. There are laws they want to us pass that would be devastating for our economy or these programs like what the president has put in with the Clean Power Act or all these sorts of things that he’s forcing down our throats on the war on coal.
Let me tell you who is going to pay the price of that? Americans are going to pay the price of that. The cost of doing that is going to be rammed down the throats of the American consumer, the single parent, the working families who are going to see increases in the cost of living.
RUBIO: The businesses who are going to leave America because it’s more expensive to do business here than anywhere else.
And you know what passing those laws would have — what impact it would have on the environment? Zero, because China is still going to be polluting and India is still going to be polluting at historic levels. So, I am in favor of a clean environment. My children live in South Florida. My family is being raised here. I want this to be a safe and clean place, but these laws some people are asking us to pass will do nothing for the environment and they will hurt and devastate our economy.
TAPPER: So just to clarify, Senator Rubio, Mayor Regalado when he talks about the reality of the scientific consensus about climate change, the Republican mayor of Miami, he’s saying the scientific consensus is that man does contribute to climate change.
When you talk to him, because he is the mayor of Miami and he has endorsed you, do you tell him that he’s wrong?
RUBIO: I would say to him that there is no law that they want us to pass that would have any impact on that. If we pass — if you took the gift list of all of these groups that are asking us to pass these laws and did every single one of them, there would be no change in our environment. Sea level would still rise. All these other things that are happening would continue to go on for a lot of different reasons.
One, because America is not a planet. It’s a country. And number two, because these other countries like India and China are more than making up in carbon emissions for whatever we could possibly cut. Here’s what he will immediately — and Mayor Regalado is a great mayor and a good friend — but here’s what he’s going to immediately going to start hearing from.
He will immediately start hearing from families in South Florida who are barely making it by, and now their electric bill went up $20 or $30 a month because we just made it more expensive to generate power. That cost will be passed on to working families. I am not going to destroy the U.S. economy for a law that will do nothing for our environent.