Campaign ad equating global warming with weather gets “pants-on-fire” rating

June 7, 2010

MILKEN/By now, almost everybody — with the possible exception of Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina — realizes there’s a difference between climate and weather. Fiorina, running in the California primary and ultimately aiming to unseat Democrat Barbara Boxer, paid for and appeared in a campaign ad slamming the sitting senator for being “worried about the weather” when there are serious concerns like terrorism to deal with.

Take a look here:

A few problems with this ad earned it the not-so-coveted beyond-false “Pants on Fire” rating from Politifact, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalism website that checks on the truthfulness of political advertising. First off, Boxer didn’t say she was worried about the weather. She said that climate change was “one of the very important national security issues” — a position in line with the Pentagon and the CIA. The site also found that it’s not an either/or thing, that focusing on climate change doesn’t necessarily mean neglecting national security. They took a look at Boxer’s record and found she has supported at least six bills against terrorism.

“Fiorina casts climate change as something you need to pack an umbrella for, or that prompts you to curse at the TV weatherman — which strikes us as not only a trivialization of climate change but also a failure to distinguish between two well-established scientific specialties,” Politifact said. “She also ignores Boxer’s lengthy record supporting bills against terrorism. So we have to light up the meter (the site’s Truth-o-Meter): Pants on Fire!”

OBAMA/Not surprisingly, Boxer’s campaign fired back in a press release, saying that, “during Fiorina’s tenure at HP, the company sold millions of dollars worth of high tech gear to intermediary shell companies selling to Iran, despite trade sanctions against Iran, a country that the U.S. State Department has named as a State Sponsor of Terror.”

Should be an interesting race. The California primary is on June 8.

Photo credits: REUTERS/Fred Prouser (Carly Fiorina at “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” panel Beverly Hills, California April 26, 2010. REUTERS/Fred Prouser)

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (Barbara Boxer listens at a fund raiser, San Francisco May 25, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)


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GREAT picture of Carly. The most embarrassingly anti-scientific ad you’ll ever see comes from a woman who once ran one of the top science-based companies in the world. The good news for Fiorina is that pretty much the whole Republican Party is dumbing itself down on this issue, so perhaps nobody will notice her IQ drop.

Charles Baker, the Republican candidate for governor of Massachusetts and a man who has a reputation as a smart guy was asked in February whether he agrees with scientists that humans are changing the climate. Baker replied: “I absolutely am not smart enough to believe I know the answer to that question.”

Perhaps that should be the bumper sticker of every GOP candidate for higher office: “I absolutely am not smart enough.”

Posted by SteveoOOo | Report as abusive

Geez, anyone who think Fiorina has a clue hasn’t been paying ANY attention. How did HP do under her?


Posted by FredEvil | Report as abusive

How is this add anti-scientific? The fact is that there are legitimate scientists on both sides of the debate surrounding global warming theory. There is a dearth of actual emperical information on changes in the climate, much less the causes of climate change. Further, there is substantial uncertainty about the role of natural forces, clouds, and the sun in the world’s climate. The IPCC models have not been even remotely accurate in the near term. Further, where is the scientific study showing a warmer climate increases security risks? What about a colder climate? What climate, exactly, are we trying to achieve? Why do Americans simply accept the hollow, conclusory, and alarmist rhetoric of politicians over significant academic uncertainty and debate? Kudos to a candidate who wants to focus on known and practical problems, such as terrorism, rather than wasting more time and taxpayer money trying to convince Americans the sky-is-falling and that Washington elitists know how to fix it.

Posted by truthseeker18 | Report as abusive

Wow, just when I figured Boxxer was as dead as Lincoln, Repubs come up with something like this! No wonder America is falling apart…

Posted by CDNrebel | Report as abusive

Oh my goodness! I heard that there was a bush league political story posted on Reuters. I didn’t believe it until I read it myself. Come on, the whole merit of a story like this way below the dignity of an outfit like Reuters. Stick with the hard-hitting political stuff and leave the tabloid writing to publications like the Enquirer.

Posted by TonyEldridge | Report as abusive

It has been said that education is the key to understanding. It has also been said that the educational system in this country has failed our children. From the sounds of these commentaries, I would estimate that failure began many decades ago.

Posted by coyotle | Report as abusive

With the exception of 2001, weather kills more people in the US than terrorism. And, including 2001, weather has killed over twice as many people as terrorism in the US in the last 10 years. This is not to suggest that terror isn’t a huge problem. But, it also appears that weather is a bit of a bad ass, global warming or not.

Posted by rawbitz | Report as abusive

So even if you are hard-core conservative and deem global warming a hoax (because it inconveniently doesn’t match your political beliefs), you should vote for Carly because:
a) She’s an accomplished politician
b) Her fantastic results at HP
c) Her boardroom buddies need tax relief
d) All of the above
If climate change isn’t national security, is oil imported from the middle east making us safer? Improving our trade deficit? Not funding Iran’s ambitions? Not tying up our Coast Guard cleaning up the Gulf (you can add that cost to your next fill-up).

Posted by Mike_s1 | Report as abusive

There will come a time when people will be amazed that we have fallen for the climate change folly such that we have threatened our economies and industrial position in the world. The speed with which the fundamentalists of this topic rush to condemn and attempt to destroy careers is frightening.

Posted by treetop91 | Report as abusive

The 2008 Presidential Election offered us the choice between disaster and calamity. One imagines there is some comfort in seeing that in California as elsewhere, not much has changed.

Posted by JackMack | Report as abusive

In the first five days of the Iceland volcanic eruption EVERYTHING globally done in the name of “climate control” and “global warming” for the last 40 years was wiped out. Strange how our Nobel Prize winner and savior Gore didnt have anything to say. Equally interesting is that the media never reported it either.

Posted by gitagrip | Report as abusive

Playing the terrorism card is for losers.

Posted by HBC | Report as abusive

Just look at her track record. Fiorina was even worse for H-P than Sarah Palin was for Alaska.

Posted by Art_In_Seattle | Report as abusive

The fact that she is even being considered for Public Office is very disturbing. She could not tell the truth if her life depended on it.

HP Employee

Posted by tsmith | Report as abusive

I can’t believe anyone would vote for this clown. She was fired from HP for being a complete incompetent. Her purchase of Compaq almost bankrupted the company.

Posted by bloozitis | Report as abusive

Carly Fiorina raised eyebrows at HP when she demanded a private jet liner for her use. How will she suck up our tax dollars for her luxury if elected? We don’t need more greedy politicians, I don’t care what side they’re on.

She’s evidently not well educated if she truly doesn’t know the difference between ‘climate’ and ‘weather.’ If she knows the difference, then she is deliberately manipulating the words of a rival. We need educated, honest and honorable politicians in office.

In becoming CEO at HP she showed she can fool people into believing she has what it takes to get to the top, but she soon revealed greed and ineptitude. Thankfully for HP did not to stay there long. Let California voters not make the same mistake as the HP Board.

Anybody who would vote for her just because she’s a Republican is putting party politics ahead of the national interest.

Posted by pskils | Report as abusive

Truthseeker18, I don’t want this to turn into another Climate debate, so I will keep it short. the Iceland debris and noxious gases have not been enough to reach the stratosphere and affect the climate greatly, but certainly can and has in the past.. There have been and always will be volcanoes and some are more devastating and climate changing then others. That’s nature.

if you are saying we should just continue to spew pollution as volcanoes spew larger amounts, then you don’t get it… We need to stop polluting our environment and changing nature. Nature will always have surprises for us, but we can and should do our part to make the world safe for us to inhabit.

We really are doing nothing of the sort and our reliance on oil and closing our eyes as the oil spills is proof.

Climate change is real, but I would rather not have it change drastically before attempting to curb it. Doing nothing should never be an option… but alas it is.

Posted by hsvkitty | Report as abusive

[…] Campaign ad equating tellurian warming with continue gets “pants-on … […]

Posted by Campaign ad equating global warming with weather gets “pants-on … – Just another WordPress weblog – Easy Automobile Insure | Report as abusive

Thank GOD she lost. She’s worried about terrorism when the state is going bankrupt??

Typical GOP – spend, spend, spend on military and security like Blackwater and KBR who screwed the US govt out of millions of $ they can’t account for.

Posted by 5280hi | Report as abusive

@ truthseeker18

In the 80s there was a “… dearth of actual empirical information” that the Soviet Union would ever actually attack the U.S. (i.e. it had never happened). Yet this did not stop Reagan and the Republicans from squandering scores of billions of taxpayer dollars on building more missiles.

As for “legitimate scientists on both sides of the debate surrounding global warming theory”

The preponderance of legitimate scientist do not seriously question that the huge emissions of greenhouse gases by humans will be affecting the global climate negatively.

I suppose that you do not consider the **possibility** of serious crop failures, invasive diseases, and rising water levels and all the political turmoil that would ensue as a security issue?

Posted by jmmx | Report as abusive