Kerry: 'Simplistic' politics led to climate bill's demise

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) blamed "simplistic" politics in the U.S. for the demise of climate change legislation in the Congress.

Kerry lamented what he said was a "huge lost economic opportunity" passed up by lawmakers after they failed to pass an energy and climate bill before breaking to go home for the campaigns.

"It’s because of the simplistic approach of the political process that has reduced climate changes to cap and tax," Kerry said on "Imus in the Morning" on the Fox Business Network. "The fact of the matter is that the United States is losing unbelievable economic opportunity."

Kerry had led the effort, along with Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), to craft a compromise energy and climate bill earlier this year. Those talks fell apart after Graham withdrew and blamed Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for trying to push an immigration bill before an energy and climate bill.

The collapse of talks eventually prompted Reid to introduce a drastically scaled-back energy bill in July, a bill which he failed to bring up before the August recess and again before lawmakers left for their monthlong break to campaign before Nov. 2 elections. The bill could be brought up during a lame-duck session of Congress, but it's still not clear if it'd have the votes to move forward.

Kerry has previously chastised inattentive voters for contributing to deteriorating politics.

“We have an electorate that doesn’t always pay that much attention to what’s going on so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what’s happening," Kerry said last week, as reported in the Boston Globe.

Conservatives seized on that remark, accusing the 2004 presidential candidate of looking down on voters.

Kerry said that the U.S. had hurt itself economically by way of the senatorial indecision.

"We haven’t been able to pass an energy bill, which I think is a huge lost economic opportunity for the country," he said.