msnbc | February 13, 2013
>> president obama called for action on climate change saying he wants congress to act and if they don't, he will. joining us is chris hayes . chris, what was that shout out to john mccain and joe lieberman about? that seemed to make john mccain unhappy?
>> he did his patented grimace smile. it was a standard cap and trade bill along the framework of what would later be passed by the house of representatives after president and killed in the senate because no republics wou republicans would support it. john mccain and joe lieberman in three sessions introduced bills to put a cap on car bbon and that amount would have gone down year for year. what democrats tried to pass in 2009 and could not get done. it was a reminder to the republicans that there was a remarkable and in my time covering politics, lurch backwards. newt gingrich was haunted by sitting with nancy pelosi endorsing it. john mccain favored cap and trade . all of that has been undone and destroyed as the republican party has put this in this shrinking denial of the political strain. i think the president was trying to point that out and that's why john mccain felt uncomfortable.
>> sitting between two democratic senators and wishing he wasn't. he said i am not going to urge congress to act, i recognize they might not, but he threatened to go it alone and do something on his own. how significant do you think those were if congress couldn't get it done?
>> this is a huge sleeper policy. the supreme court has found that there is the epa could regulate the clean air act . there could be a cap and trade kind of regime. they would have to structure it differently, which means the executive and conservatives have been fighting tooth and nail to be sure it doesn't happen. if there is little political coverage in congress, it is the threat of uni rival action that has some republicans and lobbyists on the hill scurrying because they are worried about the president following through on that promise. i thought that was a big deal , the not so veiled threat.
>> that explains about the president explaining it in speeches, so people understand it if he has to do it. thank