RUSH: James Baker is, in the eyes of many — you would agree, Mr. Snerdley — Mr. Establishment. I mean, there is no Republican equivalent of David Gergen in terms of defining conventional wisdom. James Baker, he was in the Reagan administration, the Bush administration, he’s a consultant for — He ran the recount for George W. Bush in Florida in 2000. He is connected.
He was on CBS This Morning. He knows Tillerson. Everybody in Texas who’s anybody knows Tillerson. And Tillerson knows anybody who’s anybody in Texas. And Baker lives in Texas. Baker lives in Houston. And they were talking about Tillerson being chosen secretary of state. Charlie Rose — and James Baker, by the way, is a Republican that no media guy hates. They envy, they admire, they all want to be James Baker. So Charlie Rose would be talking to James Baker with lots of respect. He said, “Are you worried, Mr. Baker, about the closeness that Tillerson has with Putin?”
BAKER: I’m not worried about that, Charlie, because he was doing, in getting close to Vladimir Putin, he was doing what he should have done for the shareholders of ExxonMobil, and that is make good deals, good agreements with foreign powers. Now he’s gonna be sitting in the secretary of state’s chair on the seventh floor of the State Department, and I guarantee you he’s gonna have a different outlook. He’s gonna be looking at formulating and implementing American foreign policy on the basis of the principles and values of this country and in the national interests of this country.
RUSH: Baker, by the way, was secretary of state. He was secretary of state for I believe — I know he was secretary of Treasury for Reagan. He’s done it all. (imitating Baker) “So, you see, Tillerson is a great guy. He’s gonna be able to take everything he’s done in terms of doing deals at ExxonMobil, he’s gonna now go to the seventh floor of the State Department, secretary of state’s office, gonna be doing deals there. But the deals he’s gonna be doing are gonna be for the United States.”
So fill-in co-host Alex Wagner, a female on CBS This Morning, same show as Charlie Rose, she then said, “You’re a partner in a law firm that represents ExxonMobil and some of the Russian gas companies that do business with ExxonMobil. So, Mr. Baker, do you have any experience working with Rex Tillerson? Do you think that it at all complicates your support?” In other words, she’s saying, “Okay, look, you work with the guy. Your law firm represents the guy. How can we believe anything you say, Baker?”
BAKER: I’ve never done anything for the company in which Rex was directly involved. I know him. He’s a friend of mine. I hunt elk with him, and I have great confidence in —
BAKER: — his ability. This story that somehow I was out there pushing Rex early on is not correct. When the transition people for President-Elect Trump called me, I gave him really high marks. That call came in Monday, day before yesterday. So some of the reporting that you’ve seen on that that somehow I was pushing him because of my firm’s representation of ExxonMobil, that’s not true.
RUSH: That’s not true. I don’t know Rex that well. I just go hunting elk with him. Oh, now they’re gonna really hate Tillerson. He kills animals with a gun. He goes hunting. Okay, here’s the red flag, ladies and gentlemen.
Same show CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose takes back over from Alex Wagner, who interrupted him, and Charlie says, “Some people looking at the future Trump administration believe there are too few people who have a strong view to protect the planet.”
I’m gonna have to figure out a way of dealing with this, because this really tries my patience. Do you realize Charlie Rose is actually asking James Baker, there’s a lot of people that Trump’s getting here that don’t care about the planet. Have you ever heard anything more absurd? This whole idea that Republicans don’t mind pollution, they don’t mind dirty water, and that these CEOs love polluting the cities they live in? They love polluting the air? It’s absurd here, these assumptions. And that Trump doesn’t have anybody that cares about the planet?
We’re just specks of dust on the planet anyway. This idea that we can destroy the planet is just flat-out silly. But, anyway, I interrupt myself again. And I’m sorry, folks, this stuff just really, really frosts me, and I’m getting ahead of myself because that has nothing to do with the answer. Let me start again. Charlie Rose, “Some people looking at the Trump Regime believe there are too few people that have a strong view to protect the planet and who have strong views about the dangers of global warming.” So not enough people in this cabinet care about global warming. What do you say about that, Mr. Baker?
BAKER: I do know this. Rex Tillerson was one of the people, one of the corporate leaders in the United States who first came out and acknowledged the problem of climate change, and so — but I can’t answer for people who’ve been appointed to —
BAKER: — positions like the EPA and so forth.
RUSH: All right. By the way, Tillerson has done that. Tillerson has spoken about climate change, and he has said, I’m paraphrasing, “We at ExxonMobil believe that there are instances of man-made incidents of climate change, and we at ExxonMobil love the planet, we want to preserve the planet,” and he’s come out in favor of a carbon tax as the way of dealing with man-made climate change.
Now, I don’t like that at all. A carbon tax, for example, that was one of Bill Clinton’s first attempted tax increases in 1993, and it went down in flames as it should. A carbon tax can bankrupt people. Carbon is in everything. To put brakes on the economy, start taxing carbon. The thing I don’t know, ’cause I don’t know Rex Tillerson. All I know is I like Tillerson and I like his name. I think Tillerson’s a perfect name. Rex Tillerson, great name for a CEO of an oil company. But I don’t know him.
I do know that ExxonMobil is hated and despised by climate change Looney Tunes unhinged left-wing global warming fanatics. And I also know that as CEO it would be up to Rex Tillerson to keep them at bay and to make sure that when the climate change crowd starts out there trying to destroy things, that ExxonMobil is not on the hit list.
So it could well be that Rex Tillerson is saying these things because it’s an insurance policy. Got nothing to lose by saying it except maybe to keep the — it’s like a rich guy, it’s like Gates, it’s like Warren Buffett being for tax increases on the rich. It’ll keep the people with pitchforks away from their house. “Yeah, he’s a good rich guy, he thinks he’s not paying enough in taxes.”
So if Rex Tillerson says, “Yeah, we in corporate America, we’re not doing enough to save the planet,” that keeps people at bay, but he also might mean it. It is at variance with what Trump believes, by the way. Trump does not believe in a carbon tax or any of that, but he loves Tillerson, from what I understand. He didn’t know Tillerson before they met. Tillerson bowled him over. I mean, really impressed him, ’cause they both do deals. So we’ll have to see. But this is a bit of a red flag for me, anything getting close to this is a red flag.
RUSH: Yeah, well, you say that Tillerson’s not gonna be making decisions like carbon tax, but he’s gonna be meeting with the United Nations and other diplomats who do. He’s gonna be doing diplomacy with a bunch of these newfangled wackos who think climate change is real and think the United States is a primary culprit and think the United States ought to pay for it. I’m biding my time.