SACRAMENTO — California Gov. Jerry Brown says U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s views on climate change make the Texas Republican unfit to run for president and that he would entertain making another bid for the White House himself if he were younger.
Brown, a Democrat who turns 77 next month, made the remarks during an interview that aired on Meet the Press on Sunday.
Host Chuck Todd asked the governor to respond to a video clip of Cruz telling Seth Meyers of Late Night earlier in the week that science and the snow he had just encountered in New Hampshire undermine the dire warnings of global warming “alarmists.”
Brown didn’t waste any time in labeling Cruz’s comment as false and countering that 90 percent of the scientists who study climate change believe it is real, human-caused and producing extreme weather of all kinds.
Cruz “betokens such a level of ignorance and a direct falsification of existing scientific data, it’s shocking, and I think that man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office,” he said.
Cruz’s press secretary did not respond to a call and e-mail seeking comment Sunday. Cruz formally announced he is seeking the GOP presidential nomination just after midnight on Monday.
Todd asked Brown if he would be running for president in 2016 if he were 10 years younger. Brown, who is serving a fourth and final term as California’s governor, previously sought the Democratic nominations in 1976, 1989 and 1992. He initially answered, “Yes,” then qualified his response to say, “I can’t say.”
“I’ve run three times. So, if I could go back in the time machine and be 66, you know, I might jump in,” he said. “But that's a counterfactual. So, we don’t need to speculate on that.”
Brown said he thinks candidates from both parties will need to talk about climate change, how they plan to fund repairs to the nation’s aging infrastructure and their views on using federal dollars to support scientific and technology research.