G.O.P. presidential candidates, in a race to gain favor among Republican primary voters, have found a common enemy in the Environmental Protection Agency. Almost across the board, Republican hopefuls are portraying the E.P.A. as a symbol of alleged Obaman over-regulation and a roadblock to economic recovery.
Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Herman Cain — all have openly demonized the E.P.A. in their leadership campaigns. Bachmann, the Tea Partier thought to be a front runner in the G.O.P. presidential race, said famously in a recent debate that the E.P.A. should be renamed the "job-killing organization of America."
But while linking the E.P.A. and environmental regulation to unemployment may be politically expedient in the short term, it may prove to be a liability in the general election.
"Not only are these positions irresponsible, they’re politically problematic," David Jenkins, of Republicans for Environmental Protection, told the New York Times. "The whole idea that you have to bash the E.P.A. and run away from climate change to win a Republican primary has never been borne out. Where’s the evidence?"
Photo: Rep. Michele Bachmann speaks at the Faith & Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing in Washington, June 3, 2011. (Molly Riley / Reuters)