California Gov. Jerry Brown (D.) praised Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, comparing his government favorably to the one in Washington.
Speaking to MSNBC's Chuck Todd, Brown discussed his June meeting with Xi. The two men met in China for a discussion of climate policy, shortly after President Donald Trump officially decided to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord.
Brown said that California and others states are forming a climate alliance, but that they need leadership from Washington more like Xi's in China.
"I met with President Xi for almost an hour. This is a very determined man," Brown said. "He's building roads and high-speed rail and not just in China, but all over the world."
"Washington can't even build roads and bridges in our own country, much less spreading the American dream all around the world," he said. "If we're going to be the great power we all want to be, we're going to have to start rolling up our sleeves, raising some revenue, and getting the job done."
Brown centered his argument on climate change, and he made thinly veiled references to Trump's comments on the matter.
"In terms of climate change, it is an existential threat," he said. "It is not a hoax. It was not created in China. It is something that the majority, 95 percent of scientists believe in the science of climate change."
Xi has struck a chord with some in the West by signaling increased willingness to work on global partnerships. This has led some to go as far as to call China a leading power for liberalism, using arguments similar to Brown's
"We've got to do something," Brown concluded on climate change. "It is life-threatening over a relatively foreseeable amount of time."