Michelle Bachmann, environmental crusader

The Minnesota Republican says she confronted Al Gore at inauguration in order to crack a joke about the cold weather.

By Alex Koppelman

Published January 27, 2009 11:50PM (EST)

Monday night, I wrote about Matt Drudge's shoddy logic regarding global warming. He had used a single anecdotal example of local weather -- a winter snorm predicted for the time former Vice President Al Gore was scheduled to testify before a Senate committee about global warming -- to make a larger point about global climate. Tonight, I have an even better example of the same kind of thinking, this one from legendary Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.).

Jeff Poor of the Business and Media Institute, which is affiliated with the Media Research Center, a conservative press watchdog, reports:

It’s a question the press didn’t dare ask, but a second-term Minnesota Republican congresswoman wasn’t afraid.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, told participants in a Jan. 26 Americans for Prosperity teleconference that at President Barack Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20 she had asked former Vice President Al Gore if it was cold enough for him and noted this wasn’t “exactly a global warming day.” The 19-degree temperatures were too cold for even a quartet to perform a piece arranged by composer John Williams, forcing them to prerecord the performance.

“On the Inauguration Day, Dr. Tom Price [GOP U.S. congressman from Georgia] can attest to this -- we were freezing to death, sitting there during the inauguration, with our blankets huddled up there,” Bachmann said. “We were asking Al Gore when he came in through the door, ‘Hey Al, is it cold enough for you down there? This isn’t exactly a global warming day.’”

During the conference call, Bachmann also reportedly claimed -- based on the word of her meteorologist brother -- that we are in fact experiencing global cooling, not global warming.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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