(CNSNews.com) - For Republicans to regain the upper hand before next year's mid-term elections, President Bush needs to embrace a new agenda that includes "straight talk" to the American people about global warming, according to political columnist Dick Morris. A conservative analyst responded that Morris is wrong about climate change -- on political and scientific grounds.
The violence of Hurricane Katrina "was exacerbated by climate change," Morris said during an interview with Cybercast News Service. "I think Americans are coming to that conclusion, and I think Bush needs to get ahead of them on it.
"I also think the American people are ready for some straight talk about getting away from oil dependency," he said. "I think they're ready for more nuclear power, more hybrid cars, more hydrogen-powered vehicles and more technology ..."
This new emphasis on global warming should be part of "a new agenda" the president embraces in order to "appeal to the broad mass of the American people," Morris said.
However, Chris Horner, a senior fellow with the free market environmental group Competitive Enterprise Institute, told Cybercast News Service that Morris "has been singing this song for five years" and is "still wrong" about climate change.
"In early 2000, Morris lectured me on how [then-Vice President] Al Gore could only move ahead and guarantee his win" in that year's presidential election "if he would make global warming the centerpiece of his campaign," Horner said.
"I asked, 'What are you talking about? Didn't you read his book [Earth in the Balance]? [Gore is] hysterical'" over global warming, Horner stated. Despite Gore's position on climate change, he lost the election that November.
"I think this is just a refrain of [Morris']," Horner added. "At some point, he should look up and say, 'There is a connection between climate change and hurricanes. That connection is: The more you say they're related, the less you know about the issue.'"
Morris, who has just written a book titled "Condi vs. Hillary, The Next Great Presidential Race," believes that New York Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton is "already focused" on the 2008 race, even though she has a year left in her campaign for re-election to the U.S. Senate.
Morris was a pollster and campaign consultant for former President Bill Clinton, but is no fan of Sen. Clinton, who has been planning to run for the White House "for the last 20 years," according to Morris. "The Democrats are hungering after a Clinton now just as the Republicans were hungering after a Bush" before the 2000 election, he added.
As proof of his statement, the columnist pointed to recent polls, which give Sen. Clinton an enormous lead over such potential 2008 Democratic competitors as Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, former Vice President Al Gore, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware.
"The only thing those five guys have in common is that they've all lost presidential races, so the odds of their catching fire are very limited," Morris said. "Hillary has this nomination very much under control."
See Earlier Story:
Hillary Clinton 'Already Focused' on 2008, Analysts Say (Oct. 24, 2005)
Make media inquiries or request an interview with Randy Hall.
Subscribe to the free CNSNews.com daily E-Brief.
E-mail a comment or news tip to Randy Hall.
Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.