ATTACKING GORE’S MOTIVES…. Most of the time, global warming deniers just think Al Gore is wrong. Once in a great while, they’ll go much further.

The Hill‘s Eric Zimmermann has a transcript of this exchange between the former vice president and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) of Tennessee.

BLACKBURN: I’ve got an article from October 8th, the New York Times Magazine about a firm called Kleiner Perkins. A capital firm called Kleiner Perkins. Are you aware of that company?

GORE: (LAUGHS) Well yes, I’m a partner at Kleiner Perkins.

So you’re a partner at Kleiner Perkins. OK. Now they have invested about a billion dollars in 40 companies that are going to benefit from cap and trade legislation. So is the legislation that we’re discussing here today, is that something you are going to personally benefit from?

GORE: I believe that the transition to a green economy is good for our economy and good for all of us. And I have invested in it. But every penny that I have made, I have put right into a non-profit, the Alliance for Climate Protection, to spread awareness about why we have to take on this challenge. And Congresswoman, if you’re, if you believe the reason I have been working on this issue for 30 years is because of greed, you don’t know me.

BLACKBURN: I’m not making accusations. I’m asking questions that have been asked of me. And individuals, constituents that were seeking a point of clarity–

GORE: I understand exactly what you’re doing, Congresswoman. Everybody here does.

Undeterred, Blackburn pressed on, asking whether Gore would commit to not making any profit on his activism, and promising to direct activism-related income to a non-profit. Gore patiently explained, “Every penny that I have made has gone to it. Every penny from the movie, from the book, from any investments in renewable energy. I’ve been willing to put my money where my mouth is. Do you think there’s something wrong with being active in business in this country?”

Zimmermann posted the video of the exchange, which is worth watching. By the time Blackburn had said, “I’m not making accusations…” the laughter in the room was audible. She was unambiguously attacking Gore’s integrity, arguing that he’s working on the issue to enrich himself. It was quite a ridiculous display, even for Blackburn.

On a related note, Gore tried to explain to the climate change deniers that they’re the victims of “the Bernie Madoffs of global warming.” As Gore put it, “They ordered the of the censoring and removal of the scientific review that they themselves conducted, and like Bernie Madoff, they lied to the people who trusted them in order to make money.”

In one exchange with Rep. Joe Barton (R) of Texas, the ranking member on the committee, Gore tried to explain that Barton has relied on the wrong people for guidance on science: “With all due respect, I believe that you have relied on people you have trusted who have given you bad information. I do not blame the investors who trusted Bernie Madoff, but he gave them bad information.”

Barton replied, “I have never talked to Bernie Madoff.”

The poor guy doesn’t understand metaphors, either.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.