Jake Tapper, moderator of Thursday night’s CNN Republican debate, asked Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) about climate change’s impact on southern Florida, citing the concerns raised by Miami’s Republican Mayor Tomas Regalado. Tapper asked whether Rubio would “acknowledge the reality of the scientific consensus of climate change and pledge to do something about it” as president. South Florida’s problem, Rubio replied, is that it was built on a swamp, and because “there are higher sea levels, or whatever is happening.” “I have long supported mitigation efforts, but as far as a law that we can pass in Washington to change the weather, there’s no such thing,” he said.
“Let’s face it,” Rubio continued, “we, as human beings, as Americans, have a lot of power. We are the greatest nation in the world, and let me remind you, we’re the only ones who have successfully put a number of men on the Moon, not to mention that the first man who ever walked on the Moon was an American as well. In my book, that means something, that means a whole lot. And I like to think that there is no challenge we can’t conquer, no obstacle that’s too great for us. And again, in my book, this country has done a pretty decent job at coping with everything that has come its way. But, you need to be realistic here – asking a person, any person, including the President of the United States, to change the weather and to control it is just ludicrous. I mean, I’m all for pushing ourselves to the limit, but this is borderline irrational.”
Rubio went on to say that “it is completely normal for people to expect their president to solve many problems,” and that “that’s precisely what I plan to do as commander in chief.” However, he also added that “there has to be a limit to people’s wishes, just like there’s a limit to what a president can do. Sure, I can pass laws or veto them, but you’ve got to understand that a president does not equal God. Only God has the power to control the weather, and I know it would be pretty cool to be able to just snap my fingers and bring tons of sunshine to everybody and make sure we’re not polluting the environment anymore, but that’s just not going to happen. That being said, however, I might be able to come up with something after all.”
He argued, “Since God is the one who has all the power we’ll ever need, what I plan to do on the very first day of presidency, since I’ve lately been getting more and more questions about climate change, is organize a mass, nation-wide prayer, in which all of the people in America will participate. Through that mass prayer, God will hear our cry and he will have no choice but to answer and help us in our battle with climate change. The methodology of his help is something we do not know, but I am confident that He is listening. He is always listening and even though we have brought this upon ourselves, the Lord is merciful and forgiving and will solve our problem. And if everything goes well, we’ll make mass prayers a permanent hotline with God, so that he may come to our help with any other problem we may face, like, if we don’t fix the ISIS thing, or maybe, I don’t know, the Zika virus. Anyway, we’ll figure it out one problem at a time.”