author and Institute Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he taught for more than 50 years. He is author of dozens of books. An updated edition of his book 9-11 has just been published, called 9-11: Was There an Alternative?
MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky discusses the position of the Republican presidential candidates on issues such as climate change and calls them "utterly outlandish." "I’m not a great enthusiast for Obama, as you know, from way back, but at least he’s somewhere in the real world," Chomsky says. "Perry, who’s very likely … to win the primary and win the nomination, and maybe to win the election, he’s often in outer space." [includes rush transcript]
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to wrap for a minute by asking you two quick questions. One is about politics in this country. Do you see a big difference between Obama, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry? Do you think there would be a drastic change in policy if a Republican were to win in 2012 and if it were Perry or Romney?
NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, I must say that politics in this country now is in a state that I think has no analogue in American history and maybe nowhere in any parliamentary system. It’s astonishing. I mean, I’m not a great enthusiast for Obama, as you know, from way back, but at least he’s somewhere in the real world. Perry, who’s very likely—very likely to get the—to win the primary and win the nomination, and maybe to win the election, he’s often in outer space. I mean, his views are unbelievable. Bachmann is the same. Romney is kind of more or less toward the center. These are—the positions that they are taking are utterly outlandish.
I mean, as you mentioned before, I just came back from Europe, where people just can’t believe what they’re seeing here, what people are saying. I mean, take one of the really crucial issues for the human species: doing something about environmental catastrophe. Well, you know, every single one of the Republican candidates—maybe not Huntsman, but every major one—is a climate change denier. It’s kind of ironic in the case of Perry. He says there’s no global warming, while Texas is burning up with the highest temperatures on record, fire all over the place, and so on. But it doesn’t matter, it’s just not happening. In fact, the one who has conceded that maybe global warming has taken place is Michele Bachmann. I heard a statement of hers in which she said, "Well, yes, maybe it’s happening. It’s God’s punishment for allowing gay marriage," or some comment like that. I mean, this—what’s going on there is just off the international spectrum of sane behavior.
AMY GOODMAN: Noam Chomsky, world-renowned activist, public intellectual, linguist, Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, author. His latest book, 9-11: Was There an Alternative?, that question referring to the assassination of Osama bin Laden.