B²: Going Green

Big things are happening on Friday – 1) it’s Earth Day and 2) the Paris Agreement is scheduled to be signed in New York. Climate change advocates everywhere rejoice!

Especially President Obama. Remember that one time he said, “No challenge  poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” That’s right. Not ISIS or terrorism or literally anything else. Obama wants desperately to impose regulations he thinks will make a difference before he leaves office in January.

However, (cue the sad trombone) numerous studies have proven the opposite – instead of stopping or reversing climate change, the regulations will be of little help AND place a heavy cost on families. No bueno.

In anticipation of Friday’s events and Obama’s determination to maintain a legacy of climate change reversal, beware of reporters who will want to throw accusatory questions at you. Questions that assume you deny climate change and hate the environment. Do you know how to stand your ground?

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here is this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

Q: “It has been reported that energy regulations are necessary to stop climate change, but you favor not imposing regulations. Why don’t you want to save our planet?”

B²: “I care about the environment, which is why I don’t agree with the regulations the President and others want to impose. Research proves that the Paris Agreement will have little impact on global temperatures but significant impact on people’s energy costs. For example, <insert talking point>.”

Wherever you take the conversation next, make sure you talk about caring for the environment first. Sure, cost matters and it’s important to talk about how American jobs will be harmed and energy costs will likely increase by 20%, but combat the typical rhetoric and embrace your concern for the health of the planet. Because you do care! And it’s ok to talk about it! Not only will you disarm a hostile reporter/host, but you’ll establish common ground with those who favor regulation. All of a sudden, your position doesn’t seem so extreme.

B²: Patriotism and War Powers

Do you love America? That’s one media question you wouldn’t expect to leave you flat-footed. Radio hosts around the nation are asking our leaders their opinion on the president’s patriotism following Rudy Giuliani’s salvo on the subject. The B² team noticed that some have found themselves on their heels (no names!).

Red State reported how Sen. Marco Rubio came out clean on this non-winner of a question:

“Democrats aren’t asked to answer every time Joe Biden says something embarrassing, so I don’t know why I should answer every time a Republican does. I’ll suffice it to say that I believe the president loves America; I think his ideas are bad.”

The B² team anticipates journalists will ask questions coupling the president’s love for America with the current debate in Congress over when and how America should go to war against a growing global terrorist threat.

Our political leaders are making decisions about whether to commit tens of thousand of troops, air strikes, and/or proxy warfare. These decisions are not light ones: they have the potential to shape U.S. foreign policy for the next decade, and will require American blood and money. What is patriotic is to effectively combat terrorism.

If you stumble in a media interview question about our political leaders’ patriotic commitment to dealing with ISIS, you could be called an Islamaphobe, a bigot, a weak leader, or worst of all… unpatriotic. That’s not your message.

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here is this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

Q1: When and how should America beat ISIS? Wouldn’t it be unpatriotic to commit troops when it will only inflame ISIS and feed more violent extremism?

Q2: When and how should America beat ISIS? Wouldn’t it be unpatriotic to fail to commit troops because Americans can’t sustain a long war and it won’t work?

: America has always stood for defending the natural rights of women and men to enjoy life and liberty. ISIS oppresses people, denies their human rights, and silences dissent. This – terrorism – is what we are fighting. That’s real patriotism. What’s most important is to stop it, and this is how <insert talking point>.

Wherever you take the conversation next, realize that “patriotism” and “policy” are different. Your implementation of policy may seem patriotic to you, but take the extra three seconds in your sound bite to explain why. Use your next answer to explain the policy nuance. Don’t get caught in an ad hominem attack that makes you look weak. Keep your eye on the ball – preventing another terrorist attack.