Echoing Drudge and ABC's Tapper, Fox News' Hill falsely asserted Clinton said "we need to slow" economy to fight global warming

››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

Fox News host E.D. Hill falsely asserted that former President Bill Clinton said that "we need to slow" the economy to combat global warming, echoing a report by ABC's Jake Tapper. In fact, Clinton did not say that.

During the January 31 edition of Fox News' America's Pulse, host E.D. Hill echoed a blog post by ABC's Jake Tapper in falsely asserting that former President Bill Clinton said "we need to slow" the economy in order to combat global warming. Hill cropped Clinton's comments to assert that Clinton said: "We just have to slow down our economy and cut our greenhouse gas emissions, because we've got to save the planet for our grandchildren." But Clinton did not say that we "have to slow down our economy" to fight global warming.

Introducing the quote, Hill noted "fears the economy is slowing and a recession could be nearing" and pronounced Clinton's statement "puzzling." After playing the truncated version of Clinton's quote, Hill asked Fox News contributor Charles Payne, "[W]hat would the results of slowing down the economy be?" Hill added: "You know, I was baffled by this, because when it seems Democrats and Republicans have finally united on one thing, and that is that our economy is slowing and we need to kick it into gear, Bill Clinton comes out and says, 'No, we need to slow it.' "

Hill noted that "in all fairness, this was just one part of his speech," adding that "[i]n other statements he refers to other countries, and makes a comparison between countries that have the highest productivity or the fastest growth and the least amount of pollution." But Hill never provided Clinton's full quote, which makes clear that Clinton did not say "we need to slow" the economy. Rather, he said that "rich" countries could take that approach, but then he said why he thought it wouldn't work, asserting that the "only way" to fight global warming is to prove that doing so "is good economics that we will create more jobs to build a sustainable economy":

CLINTON: And maybe America, and Europe, and Japan, and Canada -- the rich counties [sic] -- would say, "OK, we just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions 'cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren." We could do that. But if we did that, you know as well as I do, China and India and Indonesia and Vietnam and Mexico and Brazil and the Ukraine, and all the other countries will never agree to stay poor to save the planet for our grandchildren. The only way we can do this is if we get back in the world's fight against global warming and prove it is good economics that we will create more jobs to build a sustainable economy that saves the planet for our children and grandchildren. It is the only way it will work.

And guess what? The only places in the world today in rich countries where you have rising wages and declining inequality are places that have generated more jobs than rich countries because they made a commitment we didn't. They got serious about a clean, efficient, green, independent energy future... If you want that in America, if you want the millions of jobs that will come from it, if you would like to see a new energy trust fund to finance solar energy and wind energy and biomass and responsible bio-fuels and electric hybrid plug-in vehicles that will soon get 100 miles a gallon, if you want every facility in this country to be made maximally energy efficient that will create millions and millions and millions of jobs, vote for her. She'll give it to you. She's got the right energy plan.

Hill's characterization of Clinton's quote as "say[ing] 'No, we need to slow it' " echoed the title of the blog post by Tapper, ABC News' senior national correspondent. Tapper titled his post: "Bill: 'We just have to slow down our economy' to fight global warming." By 9:30 a.m. ET, Internet gossip Matt Drudge provided a link echoing the ABC News headline. Later during the segment, Payne said Clinton "talked about our grandchildren. Well, guess what? Our grandchildren will find ways of making money off of this, of finding new alternative energies, of improving technologies. So this so-called problem will actually become an incredible opportunity, as it has throughout the -- you know, with capitalism, the way capitalism works, if there is a problem, then, you know, there will be a financial solution." But neither Hill nor Payne noted that Clinton actually said that "[t]he only way we can do this is if we get back in the world's fight against global warming and prove it is good economics that we will create more jobs to build a sustainable economy that saves the planet for our children and grandchildren."

Hill later asked Payne: "So from your economic background, you take a look at a statement like this and what would you say, yes or no?" Payne responded, "I'd just say he's absolutely -- he's pandering to the left. He's pandering also to countries outside of America who also have a serious responsibility, but you know, he also makes a lot of money speaking outside of America. Maybe that's why he's doing it."

From the January 31 edition of Fox News' America's Pulse:

HILL: Welcome back, I'm E.D. Hill. Let's take a look at the big board right now. Live look. The Dow Jones Industrial Average going up, oh, 130 points, up to 12,572. Now, this comes on the heels of yesterday's half-point rate cut, which came just a week after a rare inter-meeting rate cut. So why all the action? Because of fears the economy is slowing and a recession could be nearing. Which is what makes the statement from former President Bill Clinton so puzzling. During a speech on global warming, he said:

CLINTON [video clip]: We just have to slow down our economy and cut our greenhouse gas emissions, because we've got to save the planet for our grandchildren.

HILL: Now, in all fairness, this was just one part of his speech, but what would the results of slowing down the economy be? Joining us now is Charles Payne, CEO of Wall Street Strategies and a panelist on [Fox News'] The Cost of Freedom. You know, I was baffled by this, because when it seems Democrats and Republicans have finally united on one thing, and that is that our economy is slowing and we need to kick it into gear, Bill Clinton comes out and says, "No, we need to slow it."

PAYNE: It's really so, so baffling, and also considering that the big thing in his -- about his whole term as president was that the economy was gangbusters, you know what I mean?

HILL: Which is a tad ironic.

PAYNE: It is a tad ironic that, you know what, we had this whole -- we had an attitude in this country, and it started at the White House, that we're going to party like Prince's "1999," and we did. Consequently, of course, we had a hangover and a recession and other things. But the bottom line, though, is at time when we need some sort of a spark in our economy, it's so incredible that anybody would suggest a slowdown.

HILL: Well, maybe he learned something from what happened during his presidency. He does refer to other countries. In other statements, he refers to other countries and makes a comparison between the countries that have the highest productivity or the fastest growth and the least amount of pollution, but that --

PAYNE: That doesn't jive -- listen, the fastest growing country in the world is China -- without a doubt one of fastest growing economies in the history of mankind, the greatest polluter in the history of mankind. India is going crazy, but look at India. It's overpopulated and they don't have really a great energy policy. Russia has no energy policy. Brazil -- I mean, you can go down the line. If you took the top five, top 10 greatest growing nations in the world right now, they're not doing anything in terms of holding back or trying to, you know, limit greenhouse gases.

HILL: OK. In defense of his statement, is there some -- you know, some truth to what he is saying? Because I've always heard people say, "You don't want the economy growing too fast. You want slow, steady growth." So doesn't that make a bit of sense?

PAYNE: Well, that part makes a bit of sense, you know, but the business -- business moves in cycles. It's impossible to get away from the so-called business cycle. At the end of the day, as far as this is concerned, you let the free markets handle it.

You know, he talked about our grandchildren. Well, guess what? Our grandchildren will find ways of making money off of this, of finding new alternative energies, of improving technologies. So this so-called problem will actually become an incredible opportunity, as it has throughout the -- you know, with capitalism, the way capitalism works, if there is a problem, then, you know, there will be a financial solution.

HILL: Yeah. We find a way to fix it and charge you for it.

PAYNE: Absolutely.

HILL: President Clinton made the link between slowing the economy and basically saving the environment, decreasing global warming. What does that mean? What would you have to do? It sounds like it would be big-ticket items, people not driving, things like that.

PAYNE: Yeah. I mean, what a lot of folks, particularly the greens, would like to do, is make it prohibitive to drive. In other words, put a tax on it, the way they tax cigarettes in New York City. You really have to be a cigarette junkie to buy cigarettes in New York City, because if someone bought two packs a day, it costs them up to 5 to $7,000 a year. The same thing with gasoline, to make it -- even maybe to the point where we'd be afraid to turn our lights on in our own homes because it would cost so much. And, you know, that sort of controlling behavior, it's outrageous. It's almost socialist to a certain extent.

HILL: So from your economic background, you take a look at a statement like this and what would you say, yes or no?

PAYNE: I'd just say he's absolutely -- he's pandering to the left. He's pandering also to countries outside of America who also have a serious responsibility, but you know, he also makes a lot of money speaking outside of America. Maybe that's why he's doing it. He's not speaking to Americans because we are doing a lot of things in this country right now.

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