“Climate change is pestering the launch of Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid,” reported E&E News’ ClimateWire. The E&E reporter then proceeded to extensively quote CFACT’s Marc Morano as the primary watchdog bringing attention to Newt’s past position on global warming.

Specifically, Morano has been holding Gingrich’s feet to the fire for appearing in a climate fear ad with Nancy Pelosi. Morano is demanding that he recant and apologize, but so far Newt’s spokesperson has said he will not.

News outlets quickly pounced on the story, including the UK Guardian, Rolling Stone, The Washington Times, E&E News’ Climatewire, and Fox News (see excerpts below).

“Politicians like Gingrich saw climate change as a chance to repair their damaged images by pandering to the mainstream media,” said CFACT executive director Craig Rucker, “Had they heeded CFACT’s warnings about the climate scare at the start they would have realized that this was no harmless green blarney, but a threat to our entire economy. Now that the threat is widely known and the propaganda widely debunked, it is very difficult for the Gingrichs of the world to wiggle away from past opportunism. For his own good Gingrich should listen to Morano and admit his mistake straight away.”

Excerpt from Rolling Stone:

A conservative Republican, in cohoots with Gore and Pelosi, arguing that we need to take action to address climate change – imagine that!  Key players in the Climate Denial Machine, such as web spinner Marc Morano, are holding Gingrich’s feet to the fire: “Newt Gingrich is arrogant enough to believe that he doesn’t have to play by the same rules as everyone else,” Morano told Fox News, and went on to predict that the ad was going to hurt Gingrich with the Republican base.

Excerpt from Fox News:

Every presidential candidate is going to come into the 2012 race with baggage. But Newt Gingrich has what, for primary voters, could be a doozy in his closet — three years ago, he cut an ad with Nancy Pelosi for Al Gore’s climate change group.

The ad, in which Gingrich and Pelosi don awkward smiles while talking about clean-energy solutions, is coming back to haunt him, along with other statements he’s made about climate change, as he officially launches his presidential bid. While Democrats have a long and winding list of grievances against the former House speaker, his past environmentalism could cause problems on the political right.

The early complaints are coming in large part from a former aide to Congress’ No.1 climate change skeptic, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla. The ex-aide, Marc Morano, has virtually devoted his blog ClimateDepot to lambasting Gingrich’s stance on energy issues.

Morano specifically wants Gingrich to apologize for the Pelosi ad and for suggesting that lawmakers need to find a solution to global warming.

“It’s almost like he can’t admit he made a mistake,” Morano told FoxNews.com. “He needs to say it was a brain fart, at the very least.”

Morano noted that other GOP candidates and officials have modified their stance on climate change and energy regulation in recent years — particularly former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who at the first presidential debate last week recanted an old environmental ad he cut.

“Newt Gingrich is arrogant enough to believe that he doesn’t have to play by the same rules as everyone else,” Morano said, predicting it would hurt him in the primaries. “I can’t think of any Republican who hasn’t addressed this in a way that is satisfactory to the Republican base.”

Excerpt from the UK Guardian:

Gingrich formally announced he was running for president in 2012 on Wednesday.

That gave a handy excuse to environmental groups and climate change deniers to dredge up the video ad (above) that Gingrich recorded for Al Gore’s climate action campaign in 2008. As if the Gore connection were not damaging enough, in Tea Party eyes, Gingrich shares a sofa with the former Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
. . .
Now Climate Depot, the website run by a former aide to the arch-denier, Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, is trying to force Gingrich to issue a public apology.

The web site sent out an email blast on Gingrich’s ideological transgressions on cap-and-trade on Wednesday and demanded: Will Gingrich recant and apologise for appearing in the ad with Pelosi?

Apparently not. At least, not yet. There was no sign of renunciation of Gingrich’s belief in climate change on his campaign website.

Excerpt from The Washington Times:

“Mr. Gingrich: Please spare us the explanations for your gullibility and poor political calculations. What ‘solution’ does anyone need to ‘offer’ to the alleged problem Gore presents? Please stop trying to spin your low IQ moment with Pelosi and Gore. It is embarrassing,” says Marc Morano, founder of the watchdog news site Climate Depot.

Excerpt from E&E News’ ClimateWire:

The clip might be enough to derail Gingrich’s political comeback, says Marc Morano, a former aide to Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who believes climate change is a political tool to advance Democratic interests.

Morano, who runs the anti-climate blog Climate Depot, says conservative voters’ views against global warming have solidified in the last two years. Unlike other Republican candidates, like former Govs. Tim Pawlenty (Minn.) and Mitt Romney (Mass.), Gingrich is “defiant” about his past climate indiscretions, Morano says.

That might be enough, he adds, to disqualify Gingrich from the Republican nomination.

“If someone says, ‘You know, I’m not sure on the science; man may contribute; we need to look at alternative energy,’ that’s one thing. But he’s a committed global warmist. He went and endorsed [former Vice President] Al Gore’s problem and most of Al Gore’s solution by sitting there with Nancy Pelosi,” Morano said.

“And what it shows is his horrible and gross political miscalculations,” he added. “In 2007 and 2008, he actually believed that not only was global warming going to be a, quote, winning issue … but he actually believed the Republican base was going to accept this. Those are two horrible miscalculations.”