Kristen Gillibrand Calls Donald Trump A 'Man Of Fear,' Talks Climate Change And The Green New Deal

During a town hall meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, 2020 presidential candidate Kristen Gillibrand took aim at President Donald Trump.

Gillibrand, a New York Senator, began her comments by speaking on climate change and several policies she would hope to enact as president to lessen the effects of climate change and global warming.

"I am with you on taking on global climate change as the huge threat to humanity that it truly is. We can do this," Gillibrand said. "We are bold enough, we are brave enough and just remember for a moment what it's like to be brave."

The senator went on to ask the audience to "remember when this country was brave" and "remember when this country had a president who was brave" before speaking about the Statue of Liberty and the symbolism of the statue to the country.

"The Statue of Liberty stands in New York Harbor, she stands there with a beacon, a beacon of light and hope; her torch," she said. "She says 'send us your tired and your poor, your hungry. Send us your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.' That's what she stands for.

"But under this president, he's afraid. He's afraid. He's spewed hate and fear and division and darkness all across the country. He maligns John McCain. That is a man of fear, that is not a man who is brave. We should be brave again, that's what makes this country great; when we are brave enough to do the right thing, even when it's hard. Especially when it's hard," Gillibrand said.

Gillibrand's comments came during a lengthy answer about climate change in which she threw her support behind New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal, challenging audience members to ask "why not" when it comes to overhauling the United States' carbon emission output within a decade.

"Everyone deserves clean air and clean water and that's all the Green New Deal is," Gillibrand said. "It's got this aspirational goal of net zero carbon emissions in ten years. Now, people say 'oh, how can you possibly get there?' You know what? John F. Kennedy didn't know he could put a man on the moon in ten years. It didn't matter! He wanted us to aspire to it, and you know what? He did it, so we should do the same. Why not aspire to it?"

Gillibrand also called for adding a carbon tax to the Green New Deal saying that it was "important" to allow "markets to work for us" and offer for scientists to invent outside of the problem for tax deductions and benefits.

"You incentivize good behavior, that's how market forces work," Gillibrand said.

The Democrat also said that the Green New Deal comes down to three things: rebuilding infrastructure, clean air and clean water, and clean jobs.

"All of three of those things are bipartisan things and actually something we can get done," Gillibrand said.

Kristen Gillibrand
Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) asks a question during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Marines United Facebook page on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. March 14, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein