From NBC's Andy Merten
While most Republican presidential hopefuls are tackling the issue of global climate change from the angle of the need for energy independence as a national security issue, McCain has not been shy about citing the environmental impacts of carbon emissions as well. And today, his campaign announced the release of a radio ad that addresses the issue.
"In every town hall I heard from you that climate change was real and was a serious threat to our environment," McCain says in the ad, adding. "I think the time is past when we argue about whether climate change is real or not."
Although McCain does go on to cast the need for energy independence in a national security light, saying, "It's not just a greenhouse gas issue; it's a national security issue," he remains the only Republican to not shy away from asserting the reality of climate change -- a tactic that may win him favor among some New Hampshire Republicans and Independents, but could fail to resonate with the party as a whole.
The full script for the ad, titled "I Listened," below:
MCCAIN: "Eight years ago, I hadn't thought much about climate change. But the people of New Hampshire had."
ANNCR: "John McCain talks about climate change."
MCCAIN: And in every town hall I heard from you that climate change was real and was a serious threat to our environment and national security. I think the time is past when we argue about whether climate change is real or not. We have an obligation to future generations to take action and fix it. Not everyone heard you, but I did. And since then I've worked hard to find free market solutions to the problem because I know like you know: there's no problem too tough for the American people to tackle. One of those solutions is to reduce our dependence on foreign oil because it's not just a greenhouse gas issue; it's a national security issue. You were right New Hampshire, and I'm glad I listened to you. And I'm still listening."
"I'm John McCain and I approve this message."