Following a trend by other Fox News figures, Bret Baier and Major Garrett claimed that President Obama "apologized" for the U.S. role in global warming. But in the remarks they aired, Obama did not apologize, and in other comments, he noted that "no one nation is responsible for climate change."
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On July 9, Fox News Special Report host Bret Baier claimed that President Obama "apologized" during the G8 summit in Italy for the U.S. role in global warming, and Fox News correspondent Major Garrett claimed Obama "told the world America's sorry." But as the clip Garrett showed makes clear, Obama actually said: "[I]n the past, the United States has sometimes fallen short of meeting its responsibilities, so let me be clear, those days are over." In comments Baier and Garrett did not note, Obama also said, "[J]ust as no one nation is responsible for climate change, no one nation can address it alone."
From Obama's G8 summit speech:
OBAMA: So every nation on this planet is at risk. And just as no one nation is responsible for climate change, no one nation can address it alone. And that's why, back in April, I convened this forum of the world's major economies who are responsible for more than three-quarters of the world's carbon pollution, and it's why we've gathered again here today.
Each of our nations comes to the table with different needs, different priorities, different levels of development. And developing nations have real and understandable concerns about the role they will play in these efforts. They want to make sure that they do not have to sacrifice their aspirations for development and higher living standards. Yet, with most of the growth in projected emissions coming from these countries, their active participation is a prerequisite for a solution.
We also agree that developed countries, like my own, have a historic responsibility to take the lead. We have the much larger carbon footprint per capita. And I know that in the past the United States has sometimes fallen short of meeting our responsibilities. So let me be clear: Those days are over.
One of my highest priorities as president is to drive a clean- energy transformation of our economy. And over the past six months, the United States has taken steps towards this goal.
During the segment, Garrett also said, "The apology fell in line with previous expressions of regret for lax financial regulations at G-20 meeting in London, for American arrogance at a town hall in France, and for cultural insensitivity at a speech in Cairo." As Media Matters for America has noted, Fox News, and its hosts, contributors, analysts, and regular guests have repeatedly characterized Obama's overseas trips as "apology tours," often taking remarks Obama made during his trips out of context in order to support their claim.
From the July 9 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
BAIER: You can add climate change to the list of things that President Obama has apologized for on behalf of the United States. Senior White House correspondent Major Garrett reports this admission came during the G8 summit in Italy.
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GARRETT: On global warming, President Obama told the world America's sorry.
OBAMA: I know that, in the past, the United States has sometimes fallen short of meeting our responsibilities, so let me be clear, those days are over.
GARRETT: To prove it, Mr. Obama said the U.S. will ignore anxieties about raising energy taxes in the middle of a deep recession.
OBAMA: But, ultimately, we have a choice: We can either shape our future or we can let events shape it for us.
GARRETT: The apology fell in line with previous expressions of regret for lax financial regulations at G-20 meeting in London, for American arrogance at a town hall in France, and for cultural insensitivity at a speech in Cairo. Here, top advisers said the climate mea culpa made special sense.
TODD STERN (U.S. climate change special envoy): Clearly, we have an historic responsibility with respect to the emissions that are already up there in the atmosphere.
GARRETT: Australia's prime minister said Mr. Obama turned a promising corner.