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"Please respect the difference of opinion out here as it relates to the fundamental issue of climate change."

Can someone help me understand the meaning of 'as it relates to' and how it's used? Is it simply another way of saying 'with regard to/regarding'?

Is there any reason this phrase was chosen in place of 'on'?


Thanks in advance

Comments  
Eddie88Is there any reason this phrase was chosen in place of 'on'?

It is a misuse, but we know what he meant. He grew up dyslexic, and even leaving that aside, he was speaking extemporaneously with the President of the United States. I shudder to think what idiotic things I would have said in his place. Politicians try to sound a certain way, and plain English does not serve them well. "On" is too simple for them.

Nytimes.com quotes him saying something even weirder than that: “But please respect — and I know you do — the difference of opinion out here as it relates to this fundamental issue on the issue of climate change.”