(1st Add: Includes comments from Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie.)
(CNSNews.com) - Former Vice President Al Gore's speech on global warming to MoveOn.org Thursday is getting booed by a public policy research group, after the Democrat called the president a "moral coward" who abandoned the public's environmental interests to placate his financial supporters.
Gore made his speech to a crowd at New York's Beacon Theater on the coldest day in the city in decades. He said at times it seems "the Bush-Cheney administration is wholly owned by the coal, oil, utility and mining industries."
"While President Bush likes to project an image of strength and courage, the real truth is that in the presence of his large financial contributors, he is a moral coward," the former vice president said.
Gore also took the administration to task for its efforts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. He accused the White House of gutting environmental laws and not doing anything to prevent global warming.
But the National Center for Public Policy Research, one of Gore's many critics, said "the speech is full of demagoguery, misleading statements, formulations intended to deceive, unsupported allegations of wrongdoing and hypocrisy."
"From a scientific and environmental perspective, Al Gore's speech today should be ignored. No serious policy person could give the speech Al Gore gave today," said Amy Ridenour, the center's president.
"It is impossible to draw any conclusion other than that Gore is keeping his options open for a future presidential run, and is throwing red meat at the left-wing activist base of the Democratic Party in order to keep his presidential hopes alive," Ridenour added. "Time constraints forbid one from commenting on all the speech's inaccuracies."
Ridenour said "the science on global warming is not settled. Even the models and theories of those who support the theory disagree with one another. Climate science is too complex to be settled."
In challenging Gore's claims, she said the Democrat failed to fight for the Kyoto Protocol during the Clinton administration.
"But if Gore believes the science is settled, why didn't the Clinton-Gore Administration submit the Kyoto global warming treaty to the Senate for ratification? Gore condemns Bush for not supporting a treaty Bush believes is harmful and unnecessary -- yet Gore, holding the opposite view, didn't fight for it where it counted," Ridenour said.
Instead, she believes, Gore is using the speech as "an opportunity to troll for votes, yet he hypocritically tells his audience that those who disagree with him have been bought by industry."
"The 'bought by industry' canard is a nice applause line for politicians to use while addressing a left-wing crowd and convenient way to undermine those who sincerely disagree without actually debating the merits of the case," Ridenour added.
"For the record, there is more money available to those on Gore's politically-correct side of the global warming issue. The money and power whores tend to be with Gore. And a serious man wouldn't be afraid to seriously examine the scientific merits of the global warming case," she added.
Ridenour also pointed out that Gore "intentionally deceived his listeners by leaving the most important facts out."
"Listen to Gore and you'd suppose the Clinton-Gore administration regulated mercury emissions from power plants, while Bush eliminated or loosened the regulation," she said.
"In fact, the Clinton-Gore Administration DID NOT regulate mercury emissions from power plants, despite eight years in office. It just talked about doing so. Bush is actually doing it. Gore's actual complaint is that he would have written the rule differently. Why did he waste eight years?" Ridenour asked.
The Republican National Committee accused Gore of engaging "political hate speech."
"Al Gore today engaged in political hate speech in an address to MoveOn.org, the same group which recently posted ads comparing President Bush to Adolph Hitler on their web page," said RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie.
"Instead of repudiating these tactics, Al Gore chose to embrace the vile tactics that are becoming the hallmark of the Democrat Party at its highest levels. Like the Democrat presidential candidates, Al Gore has once again chosen to use his time at the podium to attack the President rather than put forward a positive agenda of his own," said Gillespie.
See Earlier Story:
On A Cold Day, Gore Blasts 'Global Warming'
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