Jeb! Sticks Foot In It — Again

Dave Johnson

Today’s dog-bites-man story is that Jeb! Bush said something really stupid. Again.

Jeb! says Pope Francis should keep his climate views to himself because he’s not a scientist. HuffPo: “Jeb: Pope Shouldn’t Discuss Climate Change Because He’s ‘Not A Scientist'”:

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) said he disagrees with Pope Francis’ call to fight climate change and thinks the pope should not delve into the issue because he “is not a scientist.”

“He’s not a scientist, he’s a religious leader,” Bush said, according to a video posted by the Democratic opposition research group American Bridge.

But the Pope actually is a scientist. He is a chemical engineer with a Master’s degree from the University of Buenos Aires.

I’m Not A Scientist

Last year it seemed that every Republican in the country was saying “I’m not a scientist,” when asked about climate change. Obviously this deflection phrase was cooked up by well-paid strategists using well-funded focus groups, all likely paid for by the oil and coal companies.

Coral Davenport, writing at the NY Times’ Political Memo, in “Why Republicans Keep Telling Everyone They’re Not Scientists”:

For now, “I’m not a scientist” is what one party adviser calls “a temporary Band-Aid” — a way to avoid being called a climate change denier but also to sidestep a dilemma. The reality of campaigning is that a politician who acknowledges that burning coal and oil contributes to global warming must offer a solution, which most policy experts say should be taxing or regulating carbon pollution and increasing government spending on alternative energy. But those ideas are anathema to influential conservative donors like the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch and the advocacy group they support, Americans for Prosperity.

“I’m Not A Scientist” by “PsychoSuperMom“:

But Wait, There’s More!

Just in time for the Pope’s visit Jeb! Bush penned a Tuesday op-ed for Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal titled: “How I’ll Slash the Regulation Tax: As president, I’ll repeal the coal ash rule, the clean water rule, net neutrality, and much more.”


As president, I will repeal the Environmental Protection Agency’s new rule extending federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act over millions of acres of private land, its new regulation of carbon dioxide under the Clean Power Plan, and its new and costly coal-ash standards for power plants. I will also work to repeal the so-called net-neutrality rule forced on the Federal Communications Commission by the White House and the Department of Education’s “gainful employment” rule that punishes for-profit colleges. That’s for starters.

Why did Bush write this to appear just before the Pope arrived in the US? Seriously, what did he think the Pope was about to say to the country?

The Pope, speaking to Congress:

Politics is, instead, an expression of our compelling need to live as one, in order to build as one the greatest common good: that of a community which sacrifices particular interests in order to share, in justice and peace, its goods, its interests, its social life.

[. . .] The right use of natural resources, the proper application of technology and the harnessing of the spirit of enterprise are essential elements of an economy which seeks to be modern, inclusive and sustainable.

Jeb says the Pope should shut up because he isn’t a scientist. He uses the stock phrase without checking if the Pope might actually be a scientist. He sets up the Pope’s appeal to stop worshiping money, bring scammers and polluters under control and elevate people by proposing to unleash money and corporations on the people.

Turns out that ‘W’ was “the smart one.” Jeb! puts the “clown” in “Republican clown show.”

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