California Senate President: Trump is a "Very Dangerous Man" for Denying Climate Change, Drought

June 07, 2016


Kevin de León

president pro-tem of the California Senate.

Ahead of the California vote, Donald Trump is facing criticism for downplaying the state’s historic drought. He recently blamed the lack of water in some communities on environmentalists who are "trying to protect a certain kind of three-inch fish." We get a response from Kevin de León, president pro-tem of the California Senate.


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: To talk more about the Clinton-Sanders race and the California primary, we’re going back to Los Angeles, where we’re joined by two guests. Kevin de León is president pro-tem of the California state Senate. He spoke last night at Hillary Clinton’s rally at Long Beach City College. Also with us, Los Angeles city councilmember, former California state legislator Gil Cedillo, who has been campaigning with Bernie Sanders. I want to go to a comment of Donald Trump. This is a comment of Donald Trump last month telling California voters that there is no drought.

DONALD TRUMP: We’re going to solve your water problem. You have a water problem that is so insane, it is so ridiculous, where they’re taking the water and shoving it out to sea. And I just met with a lot of the farmers, who are great people, and they’re saying, "We don’t even understand it." They don’t understand. Nobody understands it. And I’ve heard this from other friends of mine in California, where they have farms up here, and they don’t get water. I said, "Oh, that’s too bad. Is it the drought?" "No, we have plenty of water." I said, "What’s wrong?" "Well, we shove it out to sea." And I said, "Why?" And nobody even knows why. And the environmentalists don’t know why. Now, they’re trying to protect a certain kind of three-inch fish.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Donald Trump. Kevin de León, California state Senate president, can you respond?

SEN. KEVIN DE LEÓN: Well, to me, I think it’s very clear that Donald Trump lives in a fantasy land. He is both dangerous as well as mentally unstable. And I think there is a growing chorus throughout the country, throughout the world, even within the Republican ranks, that this is an individual who is ill-prepared to lead the most powerful nation in the world. The reality is this, is Donald Trump doesn’t even believe in climate change. And what is happening here in California is we are in the fifth record year of a historic drought, which means there has been less water in the Central Valley, which is a breadbasket for the entire nation. Now, we export 50 percent of our fruits, our vegetables and nuts to the rest of the nation. And those most severely impacted by this fifth year of a historic drought have been immigrants and migrant workers, Latinos specifically, who are unemployed because of the drought, because of the lack of water. This is impacted by climate change and the harmful emissions of carbon, CO2 and other criteria pollutants into the atmosphere.

So this is an individual who doesn’t believe in science. This is an individual who doesn’t believe what every Nobel Prize winner has said, that climate change is real. It is here to stay, unless we policymakers, Democrats as well as Republicans, start moving forward with policies that will reduce greatly our carbon emissions. This is a very dangerous individual, because he doesn’t believe in climate change. And this is what’s impacting California. California is the seventh-largest economy on planet Earth, to put this in context. And again, we export 50 percent of all of our fruits, our vegetables and our nuts to the rest of the nation—tomatoes and lettuce and nuts. This is—this is silly for him to say what he said in Central Valley to the farmers, that it’s just about a political decision here or there to turn on the spigots and let the water flow. Again, let me underscore and emphasize: This man is very dangerous. He’s unfit. And that’s why we have to unite the Democratic Party, move forward to do everything within our power to defeat him.

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