puckered lipsBeware the kiss of death.Even after backing away from his previous support for cap-and-trade programs, Jon Huntsman is getting slammed by the right wing. His treasonous crime? Daring to suggest that climate scientists might be right. Not that they are right, mind you, and not that we should do anything in response to their warnings, but just that there are enough climate scientists saying the same thing that it might be worth listening. And even that sentiment, expressed in an interview with Time, was understated:

This [climate change] is an issue that ought to be answered by the scientific community; I’m not a meteorologist. All I know is 90 percent of the scientists say climate change is occurring. If 90 percent of the oncological community said something was causing cancer we’d listen to them. I respect science and the professionals behind the science so I tend to think it’s better left to the science community — though we can debate what that means for the energy and transportation sectors.

90 percent? Try 99.

Still, the ‘wingers are frothing at the mouth.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

“Jon Huntsman for Mike Bloomberg’s Vice President!” declares Daniel Horowitz of RedState.

Writes Chris Horner at The American Spectator:

90% of my neighbors say leaves covering their lawns are falling from trees. All I know is that if 90% of my neighbors said it was my kids who were spray-painting their garage doors, I’d listen to them.

And if that meant also a severe response with no evidence that it would change the alleged problem the case for which cannot be made — leading to ‘post-normal’ science and calls of ‘consensus’ that it simply must be my kids becasue [sic], after all, those saying that have been making all sorts of claims and looking for ways for decades to get my kids in trouble — like tanning their hides, I’d have child services in my living room in an hour for my lack of judgment and proportion.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Someone send child services to Huntsman’s campaign HQ.

A little hard to parse, but I’m pretty sure it’s a slam.

And Jonathan S. Tobin at Commentary:

Huntsman’s past support for cap and trade and his unwillingness to see the question as one of economic freedom versus top-down overregulation makes him a hard sell for the GOP core. His response was also a far cry from the full-scale mea culpa that Tim Pawlenty has adopted to apologize for his past support of such schemes.

That’s what the right wing is demanding: Pawlenty-style groveling. Pawlenty, who once supported modest climate action, has since prostrated himself to the climate-denier cabal, saying his previous position was a “clunker,” “a mistake,” “stupid,” and “wrong,” and cap-and-trade is “ham-fisted, unhelpful, damaging,” and “a disaster.”

The repeated disavowals and self-flagellation have been downright painful to watch — a human being shedding his dignity like last year’s jeggings. 

Will Huntsman stoop through that hoop? 

Obama certainly hopes so. Unlike most of the clowns in the GOP lineup, the Obama team fears that Huntsman would be a formidable opponent: moderate, smart, well-spoken, handsome, charming, and cool as a cucumber. In short, a Republican Obama.

But fortunately for the Dems, the nutters in his own party won’t let Huntsman slide through the primaries without shedding much of the dignity and sanity that would make him appealing to the masses in the middle.

(h/t TPM)

Find out what other GOP presidential contenders have to say about climate change.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.