Former Minnesota governor and 2012 presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty was for cap-and-trade and emissions reduction before he was against it. Inconsistent? Hypocritical? An example of throwing away his principles to pander to an ever more right-leaning base? Hardly, says Pawlenty: It’s just what the cool Republicans do these days.

Pawlenty: Everybody in the race, at least the big names in the race, embraced climate change or cap-and-trade at one point or another, every one of us, so there's no one who has been in executive position whose name is being bantered in a first or second-tier way who hasn't embraced it in some way.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations DOUBLED!

Remember the old days, when a single change of heart — or an out-of-context quote — was all the leverage your opponent needed to paint you as dangerously unstable? That was of course before we discovered the unassailable Pawlenty Maxim: “But everyone else is doing it!” Tim, if everyone else jumped off a bridge into rising floodwaters from a storm made more severe by extreme climate fluctuations, would you jump too?

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.