White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest castigated Florida’s Republican governor Tuesday for his reported policy banning employees at Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection from saying “climate change” in official communications.
Earnest told reporters Tuesday that Gov. Rick Scott (R) is not qualified to criticize President Obama’s environmental policies and policies toward the Everglades because of his reported “climate change” ban.
“The president’s commitment to the Everglades and fighting climate change is one that stacks up very well against Gov. Scott, particularly when you consider that Gov. Scott has outlawed employees of the state of Florida from even uttering the words ‘climate change,’ ” Earnest told reporters in a preview of the president’s visit Wednesday to Florida and the Everglades.
{mosads}“So, it’s a little rich for somebody that’s made that declaration to suggest that somehow the president has not been sufficiently committed to protecting the Everglades from the causes of climate change,” he said.
Scott criticized Obama earlier Tuesday for trying to cut funding for Everglades restoration efforts. Scott has denied the reports he banned Department of Environmental Protection employees from using “climate change.” 
“It’s a little tough to take criticism from somebody who has banned the use of the words ‘climate change’ for the accusations that the president has been insufficiently committed to fighting climate change,” Earnest said. “I think it’s a tough case for him to make, but it sounds like it didn’t stop him.”
Although the White House invited him, Scott declined to meet Obama when the president lands in Miami, a spokeswoman for Scott said.
Scott has been criticized by Democrats and environmentalists for his climate position, including declaring last year he is “not a scientist” and not qualified to say whether climate change is real.

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