Lindsey Graham (Credit: CNBC)

Lindsey Graham cracks wise on climate change: "I'm not a scientist — and I've got the grades to prove it"

At least one participant int the GOP's undercard debate is taking it as seriously as it deserves


Scott Eric Kaufman
October 29, 2015 2:41AM (UTC)

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham was asked whether -- given the fact that he believes climate change is real and man-made -- he is in the wrong party's debate, and Graham replied as he has been all week, i.e. more like a comedian than a politician.

"I'm not a scientist," he answered, "and I've got the grades to prove it." He explained that he's been to many places in the world which are very cold, and that "ninety percent of [the scientists he's met there] have told him that greenhouse gasses are real, and I just want a solution."

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His commonsense statements drew boos from the carefully vetted audience, but they quickly turned to cheers as he switched gears and began speaking about immigration and national defense -- because even though the focus of this debate is ostensibly the economy, all of the potential nominees have taken every opportunity provided to speak about other issues, almost as if they're afraid of boring their base.

"I'm tired of losing!" he continued. "Look at the candidates on the other side! The leading one thought she and her husband were flat-broke after they were in the White House for eight years. The other guy went to the Soviet Union for his honeymoon and I don't think he ever came back," he added, repeating the joke he'd cracked on "Morning Joe" Monday.

Watch the debate live via CNBC.


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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