Editor’s Note: The following is a transcript of a back and forth between Senator Ted Cruz and a reporter from the Abernathy Herald. The conversation took place just after the last debate between Cruz and his political opponent Beto O’Rourke concerning the Cruz’s views on climate change.
ELENA GOMEZ (GOMEZ): Senator Cruz, Elena Gomez of the Abernathy Herald here. At one point in the debate you were asked, point blank, whether you thought ExxonMobil was incorrect in its assertion that “the risk of climate change is clear and warrants action.” You failed to provide any answer to that question during the debate. I wonder if you might be able to give an answer now, for our readers?
CRUZ: Look, Miss Gomez, I gotta say I’m not sure you were watching the same debate as everyone else. I answered that question in no unequivocal terms.
GOMEZ: Senator you just responded with a double negative.
CRUZ: So sue me, sometimes I like to talk fancy for the elitist liberal press.
[does something with his lips that is vaguely reminiscent of smiling]
GOMEZ: You still haven’t answered the question. Do you agree with ExxonMobil, a Texas-based oil company known for its own decades long conspiracy to hide the reality of climate change from the public, when it says that “the risk of climate change is clear and warrants action?”
CRUZ: Look, ExxonMobil is from Texas, and they produce oil. And people use oil everyday. My opponent wants to tax that oil. I don’t want to tax oil, because I don’t think breaking our economy makes sense. Do you, miss Gomez?
GOMEZ: What doesn’t make sense is why you refuse to give a straight answer about the clear risk of climate change. If even ExxonMobil is saying something needs to be done, why can’t you agree?
CRUZ: Okay, let’s suppose, hypothetically speaking, that the climate is changing. One could even say, hypothetically, that the climate has gotten itself into some trouble.
GOMEZ: Well, to be fair, the climate didn’t get itself into trouble…
CRUZ: I’m sorry, do I tell you how to pose your hypotheticals?
As I was saying, suppose the climate has gotten itself into some trouble. What is the best way to help it get out of trouble? Well my liberal counterparts in Congress, including Beto, think we should just throw a bunch of money at the problem.
But I ask you, Miss Gomez. If you have a lady friend who has gotten herself into some “trouble,” would you just offer to give her some money to “help her out?”
[makes air quotes with his hands]
GOMEZ: Yes, I probably would do that.
CRUZ: [laughing] Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know that the Herald had a Marxist on staff.
Well, Miss Gomez, I wouldn’t just give my friend some money. I’d take her down to the shore and teach her to fish, like Jesus did. Or maybe—and I know you liberals would really hate this idea—I’d help her get a job on one of the many beautiful oil rigs lining the Gulf Coast.
GOMEZ: I’m sorry, how does this analogy relate to climate change and all the carbon dioxide that’s building up in our atmosphere?
CRUZ: I was wondering how long before you’d bring up the left’s favorite boogeyman—carbon dioxide! Personally, I don’t think carbon dioxide is a problem. And before you assume I am anti-science, you should know that I am the son of two mathematicians, and computer programmers. [transcriber’s note: unclear if Cruz means he’s the son of two mathematicians AND one or more computer programmers, or two mathematicians who happen to also be computer programmers. A similar talking point from a debate in 2016, where he stated, “I am the son of two mathematicians, and computer programmers, and scientists.” He does little to clarify this point.]
And as anyone who knows a little math and computer science could tell you, we’ve had carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for centuries, possibly even millennia. I’m breathing some in right now! Gasp!
[puts hands around his throat]
How am I still alive?
No, the problem isn’t carbon dioxide. It’s the atmosphere. It’s gone soft. Like a liberal at a gun range a few days after a school shooting. The atmosphere has been listening to the liberal propaganda and has become convinced it needs government intervention to be saved.
Look at Mars—there’s no federal government running Mars—and yet its atmosphere seems to be doing just fine.
GOMEZ: There’s literally no atmosphere on Mars.
CRUZ: Okay, well how about Venus? Pretty sure there’s an atmosphere there! Venus seems to be doing just fine without the federal government regulating away the carbon dioxide.
GOMEZ: Venus is literally a planet with a runaway greenhouse effect. The atmosphere is 96 percent CO2. The surface temperature is close to 1,000 degrees Celsius. Scientists think it may have once been a habitable planet much like ours… before all the CO2.
CRUZ: Well in that case, where is the liberal uproar about Venus? Liberals have a stick up their butts about a few degree rise here on earth over the next 100 years, but look the other way when a lovely female reporter brings up the devastating global warming that’s happening on Venus? And you wonder why the average American doesn’t trust Democrats. Maybe if Venus started using the hashtag #metoo, it’d get a little more attention.
[chuckles to himself]
GOMEZ: So, just to be clear Senator, your position on climate change, supposing it’s real, is [pauses], “What about Venus, and the Earth needs to stop being so dependent on the federal government?
CRUZ: Yes, actually, I think that’s a fair summary.