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'Uniter-in-Chief' Biden Takes Credit for Starting 'This Whole Thing' on Climate Change in '87

Remember when Joe Biden suggested that both sides seek a “middle ground” on climate policy, and was blasted by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, forcing him to walk back his proposal? Well, in the hopes of trying to maintain his radical leftist credentials, Joe Biden is now claiming he’s responsible for bringing the issue of climate change to the public consciousness.

Former Vice President Biden was asked Saturday by an activist with the US Youth Climate Strike if he would support a presidential climate debate hosted by her group, at which point he jumped in to tout his global-warming bona fides.

“By the way, I want you to know: I’m the guy that did all this stuff—read RealClearPolitics, it will tell you about how I started this whole thing back in ’87 with climate change,” he said at a campaign stop in video posted online.

Asked if he would commit to being a leader, he said, “I guarantee I’ll be a leader.”

Biden was the first senator to introduce climate change legislation, 1986 Global Climate Protection Act, but, him trying to take credit for the movement to address climate change is as absurd as Al Gore claiming he invented the internet. In fact, Politifact notes, “Biden’s bill was not the first time Congress focused on climate change.”

In 1976 — decades before making the Academy Award-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" — a 28-year old freshman congressman named Al Gore, D-Tenn., held House hearings on climate change.

In 1985, then-Sen. Gore introduced a concurrent resolution — a non-binding legislative measure — in which both chambers of Congress asked the president to an international research program on greenhouse gas emissions.

But it was a Senate hearing in June 1986 that historians recall as a watershed moment in the public’s understanding of the threat posed by global warming. Biden’s Republican colleague in the Senate, John Chafee of Rhode Island, held the hearings.

In other words, Biden may want Democrat primary voters to believe he’s the father of the climate change movement, but he’s more like the creepy uncle. While I’m skeptical that Biden’s call for a balanced approach to addressing the climate is genuine, his response to criticism from AOC and Bernie Sanders is a disturbing indication of the influence the socialist wing of the Democratic Party has on its presidential hopefuls, including the candidate who currently has a comfortable lead in the polls. Whether it’s climate change or abortion, immigration or health care, Biden is clearly not the centrist he wants us to believe him to be. He is not going to unite the left and right any more than Barack Obama did. To survive the primary, he'll embrace the most radical positions necessary to hold on to his lead in the polls.

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Matt Margolis is the author of The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama and the bestselling The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. His new book, Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacy, will be published in July 2019. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis