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A Challenger for Obama? Progressive Former Mayor Rocky Anderson Enters Race With New Third Party

Vowing to fight the influence of money over politics, Anderson kicked off his campaign Monday.

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AMY GOODMAN: Rocky, explain on the issue of abortion.

ROCKY ANDERSON: Well, Mitt Romney, when he was running for governor, said that he thought that Roe v. Wade was basically the right result, and that ought to be the end of the discussion. He told me that privately. And that was how--you're not going to run--you're not going to win a race for governor of Massachusetts unless you take stands like that, and that's how he won that office. And now, of course, he's anti-choice, to please, I think, the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party.

AMY GOODMAN: Let's talk about the environment. Mitt Romney has taken a fair amount of criticism for an apparent flip-flop on global warming. This is Romney speaking in June, then four months later in October.

MITT ROMNEY: I believe, based on what I read, that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that. And so, I think it's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you're seeing.

My view is that we don't know what's causing climate change on this planet, and the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try and reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Mitt Romney, and that was Mitt Romney. Rocky Anderson?

ROCKY ANDERSON: And actually, he did that before, when he was governor. He talked about the dangers of climate change, how he was going to join up with other states in this regional compact and to put in a cap-and-trade system. It was called RGGI. And then, when the rest of the states were ready to go with it, he backed away from it. And I think it was clearly for the basest political kinds of reasons. So he's doing it again. I mean, when he made his first statement, that was the real Mitt Romney coming out. He knows what the science is. He knows the dangers of climate change. But these people who are willing to ignore the catastrophic consequences of climate change in order to get elected, rather than providing the leadership that we as a nation need and that the international community needs, I think it's unconscionable. And once again, that's where we see our government completely failing the people, not only of this nation, but people around the world. And it's because of the corrupting influence of the fossil fuel industry, the coal, oil and gas companies that pour so much money into these campaigns, and impacting what Congress does and now what the White House is doing.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask you about Newt Gingrich, who's also changed his stance on climate change, even appearing in a 2008 ad with then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection. Appearing last month on Fox News, he renounced his appearance in the ad, calling it "the dumbest single thing I've ever done," and saying, "I'm not sure global warming is happening."

STEVE HAYES: Mr. Speaker, I want to stick with energy policy and play a clip from an ad that you starred in just a couple years ago.

REP. NANCY PELOSI: We don't always see eye to eye, do we, Newt?

NEWT GINGRICH: No, but we do agree our country must take action to address climate change.

REP. NANCY PELOSI: We need cleaner forms of energy, and we need them fast.

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