Biden says climate change could cause Colorado River to dry up during ritzy DNC dinner: ‘Not a joke’
President Biden participated in a second reception this week for the Democratic National Committee in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he urged those in attendance to take climate change more seriously.
Just one day after a fundraiser in Rancho Santa Fe, California, where Biden accidentally revealed a previously unknown detail about former President Jimmy Carter’s health, he made a number of off-the-cuff comments about climate change including one about the Colorado River drying up.
“You’re not going to be able to drink out of the Colorado River,” Biden said to a crowd of about 60 people. He also likened climate change to nuclear war as a “truly existential threat” facing the country.
“Not a joke,” the president added.
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He continued: “This is serious stuff. It’s the single most dire consequence. If we don’t keep it below 1.5 degrees Celsius, not go above that, we’re going to damn our children to circumstances where we are the only, truly existential threat of nuclear war.”
In addition to climate change, Biden also referenced a potential succession by Eastern Oregon counties — which Biden mistakenly called “Western Oregon” — to Idaho and ongoing budget negotiations with congressional Republicans.
“I met with the speaker of the house, he’s not a bad guy, he’s a decent guy,” Biden said of Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., amid stalled budget negotiations.
“And he sat with me and said what are we going to do? Said I’ll tell you what, I’ll my submit my budget in detail on the ninth of March. You submit yours and we’ll negotiate,” the president added.
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Republicans are “telling me that unless I vote the way they want, I go along with their budget, they’re not going to, in fact, pay our debts,” he continued. “We’re going to, for the first time in American history, renege on the federal debt.”
“We’ve never failed to pay it and the interest is accumulated on it and we continue to pay it,” Biden said. “If we’ve ever going to renege on it, we’re going to see a national economic crisis not only here but worldwide.”
The president also championed his Inflation Reduction Act and the impact it will have on Medicare costs and drug prices. Biden is also expected to address drug prices Wednesday.
He also made a reference to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, whom Vegas’ main airport was renamed after, and his fight to lower drug costs.
“Back in Harry Reid days he was fighting for it too,” Biden said. “We pay the highest drug prices of any advanced nation in the world, the highest in the world.”
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Biden was initially greeted when he landed at Harry Reid International Airport by Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Rep. Dina Titus, D-NV, and Clark County Commission Chairman Jim Gibson.
The President praised his and the Democrat Party’s record over the last two years and speculated more could be done with congressional Republicans, including the long-delayed vote to confirm former Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti to be ambassador to India.
The vote is expected tomorrow, Wednesday, March 15.
“Tomorrow’s an important vote on one of our ambassadors,” Biden said.
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The fundraiser came hours after the president left Monterey Park, California, where he signed an executive order and gave a speech about reducing gun violence.
In January, a lone shooter fatally shot 11 people before taking his own life near a ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park. Nine others were wounded during the incident.
“A day of festivity and light turned into a day of fear and darkness,” Biden said earlier Tuesday. “A holiday of hope and possibilities marked by horror and pain. Vibrant dances and music replaced by vigils and memorials. Eleven souls taken.”
“Survivors will always carry the physical and emotional scars. Families left behind will never be the same,” the president said.
He called the incident “one of the worst mass shootings in California history” and said it was “a tragedy that has pierced the soul of this nation, here in Monterey Park, in the San Gabriel Valley, the heart of the Asian American community.”
Fox News’ Sarah Tobianski contributed to this report
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