In a tweet last week, Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman made the apparently super-controversial claim that he "trust[s] scientists on global warming." This weekend, he went a step further, telling ABC's Jake Tapper that his opponents' opposition to the idea of climate change is wrongheaded and extremist.
Huntsman: The minute that the Republican Party becomes the anti-science party, we have a huge problem. We lose a whole lot of people who would otherwise allow us to win the election in 2012. When we take a position that isn't willing to embrace evolution, when we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 of 100 climate scientists have said, what the National Academy of Sciences has said about what is causing climate change and man's contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science, and, therefore, in a losing position.
The Republican Party has to remember that we're drawing from traditions that go back as far as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, President Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan and Bush. And we've got a lot of traditions to draw upon. But I can't remember a time in our history where we actually were willing to shun science and become a party that was antithetical to science. I'm not sure that's good for our future and it's not a winning formula.
Given the makeup of the rest of the Republican field, Huntsman's going to be beating this drum for a long time. (And given the makeup of the Republican constituency, it's unlikely to serve him well.) Romney's the only one who's admitted to believing in climate change, and he still doesn't think we should do anything about it. Read The Hill's quote roundup and refresh your memory with Grist's candidate primer, then place your bets on how long before Huntsman burns out on the whole topic.