Tom Steyer’s climate-focused political group is already gearing up for the 2016 presidential race, announcing on Monday a new effort that will focus on putting Republican candidates on the defense when it comes to global warming.
NextGen Climate’s chief strategist, Chris Lehane, said in a call with reporters that the group’s mission heading into 2016 is to “disqualify” candidates who deny that climate change is real or caused by human activity by proving that “they don’t have what it takes to be president.” The effort will be called Hot Seat
, and NextGen Climate says it will involve media and on-the-ground campaigns in key electoral states aimed at linking Republican deniers to the Koch brothers and other interests that seek to undermine climate science.
The idea, NextGen says, is to force Republican candidates who are skeptical of climate change to defend their views right out of the gate.
“If you’re in a position that is different from 97 percent of scientists, that does raise basic competency questions in terms of whether people are going to want to give you the keys to the White House,” said Lehane.
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