Al Gore: World Knows U.S. Is Going Through ‘Tough Stretch’
Climate change alarmist frowns on 'America First' agenda, claims Paris withdrawal 'isolated' Trump
Former Vice President Al Gore said that the rest of the world understands that the U.S. is going through a “tough stretch” under President Donald Trump’s leadership and doesn’t “put the full blame on our country as a whole,” in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS News’ “CBS Sunday Morning.”
Gore, a climate change activist, expressed his disapproval for Trump and the America First principles that guided both Trump’s presidential campaign and his nearly six-month-old administration. Horrified by Trump’s June decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on climate change, Gore noted that such a move earned the dismay and disdain of global liberal leaders.
“The rest of the world, like many of us here in the U.S., are kind of looking at President Trump — and I know some people are really still all for him and everything — but the majority are trying to make sense of how this presidency is unfolding,” Gore said. “I think the rest of the world’s doing the same thing, so they may not put the full blame on our country as a whole. They recognize we’re going through a tough stretch here.”
After Trump announced his decision to exit the Paris agreement, Gore vented his frustration on CNN's "State of the Union," saying, "I think it was reckless."
"I think it was indefensible. It undermines America's standing in the world. It threatens the ability of humanity to solve the climate crisis in time," Gore told "State of the Union," adding that he thought Trump "would come to his senses on it, but he didn't."
Trump ran his campaign on a nationalistic and populistic platform championing an America First platform focused primarily on jobs and national security. When it came to the Paris agreement, the president declared that the U.S. would not cede its national authority and submit to global guidelines that would negatively affect the U.S. economy and its energy industry.
"Therefore, in order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord ... but begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or a really entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers," Trump said during his June announcement in the Rose Garden.
"As president, I can put no other consideration before the well-being of American citizens," Trump said, adding that remaining in the Paris agreement would constitute "the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries, leaving American workers ... and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production."
Although Trump promised that he "will work to ensure that America remains the world's leader on environmental issues, but under a framework that is fair and where the burdens and responsibilities are equally shared among the many nations all around the world," Gore remained displeased.
"Well, traditionally the United States has been the natural leader of the world," Gore said. "And so without the U.S. being involved, it's hard for the world community to move forward as effectively. However, the backlash and reaction to President Trump's decision has really brought the rest of the world more firmly behind the Paris agreement."
Trump's decision to withdraw was met with regret and opposition from liberal world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. During the G-20 summit in Hamburg earlier in July, the U.S. remained on the outskirts as the 19 other countries represented at the summit recommitted to the Paris agreement.
"You are familiar with the American position. You know that, unfortunately — and I deplore this — the United States of America left the climate agreement, or rather announced their intention to do so," Merkel said during the summit's final day. "What becomes clear in this declaration is the dissenting view of the United States, but I am gratified to note the other 19 members of G-20 say the Paris agreement is irreversible."
But as Gore noted on CBS News, Trump's decision to withdraw "galvanized" many cities and leaders throughout several states to come to their own decisions to do their best to uphold the Paris guidelines and reduce greenhouse gas emissions — a feat accomplished without ceding economic decision-making to global force.
Gore maintained that the U.S. would still survive — even if Trump "basically promised to recreate the 19th century."
"Those who were worried the U.S. would be isolated, there are some dangers there. But it's really the president who's more isolated now in the aftermath of this. At least that's what it looks like to me," Gore said.