McAuliffe Agrees With WaPo Editorial on Green New Deal: It's 'Unrealistic'

February 25, 2019

Former Virginia Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe said Monday that he agrees with an editorial by the Washington Post criticizing Green New Deal, suggesting the deal doesn't focus on "things we can actually get done."

Asked during an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" whether he supports the Green New Deal proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D., Mass.), McAuliffe said he supports "parts of it."

Host Joe Scarborough then brought up the Washington Post editorial board's characterization of the Green New Deal.

"The editorial board said 'yes we agree we need to do some things, but we don't think the Green New Deal is actually possible, is feasible in the time frame they put forward.' Dianne Feinstein famously believes the same way. Is that the camp you find yourself in, Dianne Feinstein and the Washington Post or AOC and Ed Markey?"

"I come from a place [where I think] there are some great aspirational goals. Climate change is real. We need to be very concerned. I took action as governor [to produce] record amounts in renewable energy. I'd like to talk about things we can actually get done and things that we have actually done. That's the difference. All these litmus tests, of this and that. Listen, voters want someone who actually has big, bold ideas," McAuliffe responded.

"So do you agree with the Washington Post editorial this morning?" Scarborough pressed.

"Sure, I would. There are things in [the Green New Deal] that are great goals, but are unrealistic. ... I had to deal with Hampton Roads flooding on a regular basis. Norfolk, Virginia, if it rained for two hours, I had to deal with flooding. That's what I deal with today. It's real, and I came up with solutions," McAuliffe said.

On Sunday, the Washington Post argued the nation needs an alternative plan to address climate change, criticizing the Green New Deal championed by Ocasio-Cortez and Markey.

We favor a Green New Deal to save the planet. We believe such a plan can be efficient, effective, focused and achievable.

The Green New Deal proposed by congressional Democrats does not meet that test. Its proponents, led by Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), are right to call for ambition and bold action. They are right that the entire energy sector must be reshaped.

But the goal is so fundamental that policymakers should focus above all else on quickly and efficiently decarbonizing. They should not muddle this aspiration with other social policy, such as creating a federal jobs guarantee, no matter how desirable that policy might be.

And the goal is so monumental that the country cannot afford to waste dollars in its pursuit. If the market can redirect spending most efficiently, money should not be misallocated on vast new government spending or mandates.

The Green New Deal faced a turbulent rollout earlier this month after Ocasio-Cortez posted a supplementary document on her official website that called for "economic security to all who are unable or unwilling to work." It said the Green New Deal acknowledges challenges to "fully get[ting] rid of farting cows and airplanes" in 10 years and said it would also seek to replace or upgrade every building in America with green energy alternatives. The document was later removed from the congresswoman's website.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) said he asked Markey "What in the heck is this?" after reading the resolution. Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) called the Green New Deal a "dream" and said he has "got to work with the realities."