Bill Clinton, citing Sandy, hits Romney on climate change

Clinton was off-base on the timeline of Romney’s criticisms — he said Romney made the comments at the first presidential debate, when climate didn’t surface at all in the debates. Romney’s speech at the GOP convention, however, did hit Obama for focusing too much on global warming.

“President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise ... is to help you and your family,” Romney said in his late August speech accepting the GOP nomination.

Romney was mocking a speech Obama made in June of 2008 when he secured enough delegates to ensure he would be the Democrats’ nominee. Here’s a piece of what Obama said back then:

[I]f we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that, generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless, this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.

Romney aides did not directly address Clinton’s climate change comments Tuesday, but more broadly took aim at Clinton’s appearance in Minnesota.

“President Obama is playing defense in traditionally Democratic states like Minnesota and Pennsylvania because Americans know that if he is reelected our national debt will climb to $20 trillion, Medicare will be cut by $716 billion, and millions of middle-class families will be hit with tax increases. We can’t afford four more years like the last four years,” Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said. “Mitt Romney is offering real change for a real recovery, with 12 million new jobs, rising incomes, and a stronger middle class.”

But Clinton said Tuesday that Obama’s policies are better for local GOP officials grappling with rising sea levels.

“All up and down the East Coast, there are mayors, many of them Republicans, who are being told, ‘You’ve got to move these houses back away from the ocean. You’ve got to lift them up. Climate change is going to raise the water levels on a permanent basis. If you want your town insured, you have to do this.’ In the real world, Barack Obama’s policies work better,” Clinton said.