Newly crowned Miss America didn’t mince words when she was asked about President Donald Trump’s decision to back out from the Paris climate agreement.
Following the pageant's tradition, the panel of judges asked contestants some tough questions, and this year they were mostly political — thanks to the politically charged climate in Trump's America.
For example: During the contest, one of the two contestants for Miss Texas, Jennifer Davis, was asked if Trump was guilty of colluding with Russia. The other, Margana Wood, was asked if Trump’s claims of both sides being responsible for the violence at the KKK valley at Charlottesville were correct.
And Miss North Dakota, Cara Mund, who was later honored with the Miss America crown, was asked the following question:
“One hundred ninety-five countries signed the Paris agreement, in which each country sets nonbinding goals to reduce man-made climate change. The U.S. is withdrawing from the agreement, citing negligible environmental effects and negative economic impact. Good decision? Bad decision? Which is it and why?” asked judge Maria Menounos.
To which, the 23-year-old responded, “I do believe it’s a bad decision. Once we reject that, we take ourselves out of the negotiation table. And that’s something that we really need to keep in mind. There is evidence that climate change is existing, so whether you believe it or not, we need to be at that table. And I think it’s just a bad decision on behalf of the United States.”
In the competition’s 97-year history, Mund is the first person to win the title from her home state. The Ivy League honors graduate, who has a business degree from Brown University, has worked in the U.S. Senate as an intern.
During an offstage interview, she made it clear she wasn’t concerned about what the judges or what climate change-denying Trump thought of her response.
“I wasn't really afraid if my opinion wasn't the opinion of my judges,” she said. “Miss America needs to have an opinion and she needs to know what's happening in the current climate.”
But she didn’t mean any disrespect to the president.
“He is our president and we need to support him,' Mund said. “I may not agree with all of his opinions, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to support the president.”
Mund also aims of to be the first woman elected governor of her state.
“It's important to have a woman's perspective," she told the Associated Press. "In health care and on reproductive rights, it's predominantly men making those decisions."
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Mark Makela