2020 Election

Ohio Dem Flip-Flops on Green New Deal

Kate Schroder blames past support for GND on 'secretly videotaped conversation'

Ohio Democrat Kate Schroder dismissed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D., N.Y.) "Green New Deal" just months after saying she would support the legislation.

During a Thursday debate hosted by the Cincinnati Enquirer, Schroder said she has been "very clear" that she does "not support the Green New Deal." Months prior, however, the Democrat was captured on video saying she "totally, totally" supports the legislation.

"Oh yeah, oh yeah, totally, totally, yes," Schroder said after being asked if she "would support the Green New Deal" at a Feb. 19 League of Women Voters candidate forum. "We've got to be a leader on that. Like, nothing else is gonna matter."

Schroder on Thursday dismissed her comments as part of a "secretly videotaped conversation" after they were read by her Republican opponent, Rep. Steve Chabot (R., Ohio). While the Democrat said her assertion that "nothing else is gonna matter" referred to climate change in general, she did not address her statement that she "totally, totally" would support the Green New Deal.

Chabot criticized Schroder's apparent support for the legislation, calling the Green New Deal "crazy" and "left-wing."

"Why is the Green New Deal such a big deal in this race? Because it's crazy policy which would essentially bankrupt this country because it's so expensive, and we get so little for it," Chabot said. "The Green New Deal alone is $93 trillion. … What do we get for it? The estimates are, we'll reduce the temperature here by maybe a degree, somewhere between 50 and 100 years from now."

Schroder, who did not respond to a request for comment, is not the first Democrat to distance herself from the Green New Deal after previously expressing support. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he does not "support the Green New Deal" during the first presidential debate in September. Biden's campaign website, meanwhile, calls the legislation "a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face."

USA Today‘s Susan Page highlighted the apparent contradiction during Wednesday's vice presidential debate, asking Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), "What exactly would be the stance of Biden-Harris administration toward the Green New Deal?" Harris, whose Senate website notes that she is a "supporter and original co-sponsor of the original Green New Deal resolution," responded by pivoting to Biden's economic plan.

"First of all, I will repeat, and the American people know, that Joe Biden will not ban fracking," Harris said. "Joe Biden has been very clear that he thinks about growing jobs, which is why he will not increase taxes for anyone who makes less than $400,000 a year."

Biden previously said that fracking would be "eliminated" if he became president. Harris endorsed a ban on fracking during her failed presidential run.

Schroder, a former health care consultant, will face Chabot in November after winning her April primary by roughly 35 points. Chabot has outraised the Democrat thus far, taking in nearly $2 million to Schroder's roughly $1.4 million. Schroder reported raising $1.7 million in the third quarter of 2020, while Chabot is yet to announce his latest fundraising haul. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race as a "toss up."