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On the Trail / COLD SHOULDER ON WARMING

McCain leaves rivals out

May 15, 2008|Maeve Reston

As he rolled out his plan to combat global warming this week, Republican John McCain jumped at the opportunity to remind voters that he'd flown nearly to the ends of the earth to view the effects of global warming. But apparently he wasn't willing to give that same credit to his Democratic rivals.

When a reporter in North Bend, Wash., asked McCain why the average voter concerned with climate change should support him over Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama, his reply was tart. "I have been involved in this issue for many, many years," the Arizona senator said. "They have never, to my knowledge, been involved in legislation, nor hearings, nor engagement in this issue," he said, adding that he'd "traveled around the world and seen the impacts of climate change."

What he didn't mention was that on two of those trips, Clinton was there alongside him. She joined him on a 2004 congressional delegation to Svalbard, a group of Norwegian islands in the Arctic, and on a 2005 trek to Alaska and Canada's Yukon Territory, where they viewed shrinking glaciers. McCain mentioned both trips in his speech but not the New York senator.

And McCain enjoyed the support of his Democratic rivals in the Senate chambers too. Clinton and Obama cosponsored global warming legislation proposed by McCain and independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

-- Maeve Reston

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