We at Grist have been writing about the throngs of GOP candidates this year who deny climate science and oppose efforts to address global warming, including many House hopefuls and nearly all Republicans running for Senate. Now we’ve got the goods on gubernatorial candidates, many of whom are just as skeptical. Some choice quotes: 

Tom Emmer

Minnesota governor candidate Tom Emmer (R)

“Radical activists are trying to convince us that everyday nutrients are causing cancer, that cows are causing ‘global warming,’ and that hogs are getting people sick. Logical people know otherwise,” he says on his campaign website. His site also bashes an opponent for having “jumped on the global warming bandwagon.”

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Susana Martinez

New Mexico governor candidate Susana Martinez (R)

“I’m not sure the science completely supports that,” she told Politico when asked about the role of humans in climate change. 


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Rick Scott

Florida governor candidate Rick Scott (R)

“I have not been convinced” of the reality of climate change, he told The St. Petersburg Times.  Asked what would convince him, he said, “Something more convincing than what I’ve read.”

Read more about the Florida race.



Charlie Baker

Massachusetts governor candidate Charlie Baker (R)

“I’m not saying I believe in it, I’m not saying I don’t,” he told The Boston Globe. “You’re asking me to take a position on something I don’t know enough about. I absolutely am not smart enough to believe that I know the answer to that question.”

Baker later said he thinks humans are contributing to climate change but he opposes cap-and-trade, Politico reports.  Now his campaign site says, “I’m concerned about the effects of climate change on our environment.”


Bill Brady

Illinois governor candidate Bill Brady (R)

“No, I don’t accept that premise, and it is wrong,” he said last year at an event with other GOP governor contenders, after another candidate said, “I don’t accept the premise that man is the cause of global warming, if global warming even exists.” 

Later, in a questionnaire [PDF] submitted to the Chicago Sun-Times, Brady wrote, “Regardless of one’s belief in global warming, reducing pollution is environmentally sound.”


Paul LePage

Maine governor candidate Paul LePage (R)

“Exactly,” he said, after a radio talk show host said, “the entire global warming thing is a hoax anyway.” And after the host continued, “Not just flawed science — made-up science, lying science,” LePage responded, “Exactly. Al Gore must be just laughing himself into a frenzy here. ‘Cause he’s making millions off it.” Read more from this radio interview with LePage.



Did we miss any choice quotes?  Tell us in comments below.


Paul LePageMaine governor candidate Paul LePage (R) on climate change

Here’s a transcript of excerpts from an appearance LePage made on the “Aroostook Watchmen” radio show on Dec. 8, 2009.  (You can also listen to the audio; excerpted portions start at 17:30 and 24:00.)


Q: You’ve probably heard, in recent days, about the leaking of these memos from the East Anglia university, about the fact that the entire global warming thing is a hoax anyway.

LePage: Exactly.

Q: This is just one minor example of an impact on the economy based on flawed science. Not just flawed science — made-up science, lying science.

LePage: Exactly. Al Gore must be just laughing himself into a frenzy here. ‘Cause he’s making millions off it.

Q: We have this Copenhagen treaty this week, a big hullabaloo in Copenhagen where they’re going to be discussing further ways to penalize the Western nations for our sins of having had an Industrial Revolution. They literally want us to pay reparations to poorer nations, to developing nations. Our president is going to show up at this Copenhagen summit …

LePage: I hope he wakes up this week …


LePage: Right now the science on herring is they don’t know whether or not the herring is in trouble. They readily admit it: “We don’t know. But we want to reduce the quotas just in case.” Well that, to me, is flawed. In that case, you say, “I’m sorry, but we’re going to be fishing until you prove to us that the herring is in trouble.”

Q: That makes perfect sense to me. And that is a microcosm of the whole global-warming debate, you have people saying, “We’re going into a global warming.” You have people saying, “We’re going into a global cooling.” Nobody knows! Nobody really knows. The science is not established. All of what Al Gore might try to say. And yet we’re going to do all these things anyway, just in case.

LePage: Yeah, right, that’s the same. I think what you do is use the best available science and technology, and you try to be as good a steward of the Earth as you possibly can. And you don’t say, well, we’re not going to pay attention. I think you do pay attention to the science. And if you’re proven that there is some damage being done, you have to react to it, I have no problem with that. But to do it just in case, not knowing the science, I think is absur

Q: Right, or to push forward an agenda, which is, look, if you really check into the background of the people pushing this, they are for global government, they could give a rip about the environment — well, they might care a little bit about the environment, but the big prize is control over people.

LePage: That is correct.

Q: That’s what they’re using this whole global warming scare for.

LePage: Absolutely what it is.

Q: So that’s what really bothers me. And then to have these reports of all the changing of data, the elimination of counterpoints on all these peer-reviewed journals, for papers that are just as well established in the science, maybe even grounded better in the science, and then saying, “We’re going to change the rules about how we accept papers.” All of this, I can’t understand how anyone with good conscience puts up with it. And then, despite all these revelations, these globalist, global-warming idiots are just marching forward as though nothing happened.

LePage: Exactly. They buy into the scams, and you know, we just need to fight back.