On August 22, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported:
“A Democratic super PAC called American Bridge 21st Century sent a videographer to an Aug. 18 appearance that Coughlin made before a Strongsville tea party group called Strong Ohio. It filmed Coughlin calling the science behind global warming “sketchy,” and rhetorically declaring: “I would ask the people in Pompeii who are frozen like this if an act of Congress could change their situation.”
American Bridge 21st Century — which is funded by labor unions and prominent Democratic donors including Progressive Corp.’s Peter B. Lewis of Avon Lake and California film producer Stephen Bing — was founded to “hold Republicans accountable for the comments they make and continue to make,” says spokesman Matthew Thornton.
Thornton said his organization has no position on global warming.
“We provide the public with views expressed by candidates,” he said.”
John PALMER (Strong Ohio Organizer): I’d like to ask one question. First off, I’d like to say thank goodness for America… and [PAUSE] the name escapes me, but it has to do with global warming… that Al Gore was not elected as our president, but yet I still see the country going down on his path and I suppose we should forgive one of the senatorial candidates his youthful indiscretion of being one of his champions back when he was at Ohio State, but I think that he’s grown up and matured but –
COUGHLIN: For the record –
PALMER: but anyway, I’d like to find out your views on global warming.
COUGHLIN: For the record, when I was in college I cheered Ronald Reagan when he came to campus. Global warming. I had an interesting meeting, Vaclav Klaus is the President of the Czech Republic and had a meeting with him about a year and a half ago in Prague and he is a very outspoken — on the international stage — very very outspoken person and a scientist and skeptic on global warming. We had a very long discussion about it. I do think the science is sketchy. Even, even I guess scientists who consider themselves to be environmentalists disagree on the science and the impact. There is no question that the earth’s core is increasing slightly in temperature but the real question and I think what’s pertinent to the debate in our country and in global politics is how much have people really contributed to it and I don’t really think there’s much evidence to suggest that people have or can do very much to change anything. Now I’m a good steward of the environment, personally, because I’m not wasteful and dirty and stupid and that’s, I think, how most people view it. I’m not that because any government agency or the UN or any international organization tells me that’s how I think or how I – be and I still think that that’s a good approach for individuals, for companies, for our country and our government. And we all want to be more efficient, we all want to be cleaner, we all want to do things that have less output and as technology allows us to do that we should strive for that, but setting up our official benchmarks, penalties penalizing ourselves for not making those benchmarks, setting up a, I think very false system of rewarding good behavior which really at the end of the day is only a money making scheme for the folks that are the authorities on it, is not a very wise approach.
PALMER: You mean you don’t think we can pass legislation to lower our temperature?
COUGHLIN: I would ask the people in Pompeii who are frozen like this if an act of Congress could change their situation. No.