Book: Bush favored cap and trade

President Bush favored cap and trade, one of this former speechwriters claims in a new book.

In fact, Matt Latimer writes in "Speechless," the President actually ENDORSED the policy in a speech, but no one in the press could figure out what he meant.

Cap-and-trade, which would put a limit on businesses' carbon emissions, barely passed the House this year but has yet to make headway in the Senate. Most Republicans are vocally opposed to it.

Here's the somewhat strange passage from Latimer's book [emphasis added]:

"Connaughton, Bolten and others wanted the president to give a climate change speech. They thought that it would make our allies in Europe happy, and they were constantly pushing the president to the left on the issue. The small but merry band of conservatives in the White House--who were suspicious of climate change and the movement behind it--were opposed to any shift in our policy. They were adamantly against any speech supporting a cap-and-trade policy--a mandate on business to curb their CO2 emissions. At one point, the words cap and trade were put into the climate change speech, with the president expressing his support for the policy. Then somehow this leaked to the conservative press. Republicans on the outside of the White House sent furious objections, and the words were removed. But only those words. The rest of the speech endorsing that policy remained. After days and days of postpoinements and fights, the president finally gave the speech. Conservatives in the West Wing were deflated by their loss in the policy battle. And then something miraculous happened. Because the speech had been so parsed and litigated, no one could quite understand what the president was saying. The press therefore assumed nothing had really changed. So the next day the media reported that the president had in fact come out against cap and trade. A White House spokesman even said that the words cap and trade had never been included in any drafts of the speech, which was flat-out false. The president marveled at his good fortune. He'd changed his policy to please one side, but since he seemed not to have changed a thing, he'd also pleased the other. Indecipherable speechwriting at its finest."

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