Perry's global warming position hurts GOP, Huntsman says
August 20th, 2011
05:28 PM ET
9 years ago

Perry's global warming position hurts GOP, Huntsman says

Rock Hill, South Carolina (CNN) –Presidential candidate Rick Perry stood by his belief Saturday that manmade global warming is an unproven scientific theory while another White House contender is warning that the mindset puts the Republican Party in a "losing position" in 2012.

Former Utah governor and U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, who is trailing top tier candidates in most national polls, openly criticized Perry's position on Twitter this week. He stressed the potential impact on the party in a taped interview that airs Sunday.

"The minute that the Republican Party becomes the party–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," Huntsman said on ABC's "This Week."

Perry defended his position Saturday as he was wrapping up a two-day bus tour in South Carolina.

"I just happen to believe that the earth's temperature has been moving up and down for millenniums now, and there are enough scientists that happen to be skeptical about the reasons for it and I happen to be one of those that are skeptical," the Texas governor told reporters. "For us to spend billions of dollars on a theory that is not proven and that you have skeptical science against that is not in America's best interest."

In the interview, Huntsman said taking a position like Perry's "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."

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney waded into the debate in June, saying he believes global warming is occurring and humans are contributing to it.

The debate raises Huntsman's profile in a crowded presidential field and allows him to highlight what some might call his appeal to moderates and independents that Republicans need in order to win against President Barack Obama in the general election.

Huntsman was also quick to jump on reports that Perry told a New Hampshire woman that evolution is a theory that's "got some gaps in it."

"To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming."

"Call me crazy," Huntsman tweeted Thursday.

Filed under: 2012 • Global Warming • Jon Huntsman • Rick Perry
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Rob

    Jon Huntsman is a smart and well informed man

    August 20, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  2. Hammerer

    Why not get Huntsman to primary Obama? He is a perfect fit for the left wing of the Democratic party. The media loves him and his policies are about as far left as possible.
    What more could the Dems need?

    August 20, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    Huntsman seems to be the only sane one that the GOP has.

    August 20, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. John

    Yeah, Perry, about that unproven theory we're spending billions of dollars on and isn't in America's best's called trickle-down economics.

    August 20, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  5. John

    Perry still believes the earth is flat and is anti Science. This coming from a person who not long ago wanted Texas to leave the Union. He is not a patriot......

    August 20, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  6. hozo1

    yep ... global warming, evolution, science all a myth ... but the existence of God ... plenty of mythical evidence of that ... hey Rick maybe some day man will fly, who knows ... what a moron

    August 20, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  7. Wise1Speak


    Rick Perry is an idiot. It is just that simple, he is an idiot.

    I understand when people question "how much has mankind contributed to the greenhouse effect and thereby speeding up global warming?" But to outright deny the fundamental facts of global warming is like trying to claim that the earth is flat and not a sphere.

    Rick Perry belongs to the dark ages.

    August 20, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  8. Michael

    I like this guy..........I wish there were more Republicans like know, people that have a brain and understand that compromise and moderation are keys to moving the country forward.

    August 20, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  9. Grow up already...

    Be careful know, Jon. Logic, science, 'n stuff like that doesn't seem to be too popular in the circles you run in. You could get the "RINO" brand pretty soon if you don't watch out. Probably won't get you the nomination... But, hey... good try getting some sense injected into the discussion anyway....

    August 20, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  10. Jim in San Mateo

    There's actually a sane Republican out there. Too bad he's not going to make it past the convention because too many of his party aren't.

    The Rick Perry's Jobs slogan: "Do you want fries with that?"

    August 20, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  11. NotPerry4POTUS

    It seems that Perry really believes that the Earth is only thousands of years old, instead of it being billions of years old.

    August 20, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  12. Ruth

    To put it simply, the GOP ain't what it used to be. It once was a party of tolerance, responsible fiscal restraint, cooperation and reasoned conservatism. Now it's one of intolerance, vodoo economics, no compromise & cooperation and extremist-bordering- on-wacko conservative ideology and theocracy. And it's showing signs of entropy too. The Tea Party's teabaggers are splintering its base and the voices of reason are being drowned out by shrill rants and raves of irrational extremism. Don't these folks love American anymore, America for one and all–not just for their way?

    August 20, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  13. Dave in Indy

    Just how is such a rational man, a proven statesman, dwell at the bottom of the GOP primary polls? And simpletons like Perry and Bachmann are at the top? We're idiots, ... that's how.

    August 20, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  14. Discernment


    (FACT #1) – From a global perspective, the earth's temperature is rising and has been rising "exponentially" since the industrial revolution. We have confirmation that the earth has been heating up as we watch chunks of glaciers break off from the south pole and north pole areas at an alarming rate.

    (FACT #2) – Scientist around the world has calculated and confirm through numerous test methods, that the amount of carbon dioxide generated by man since the industrial revolution is more than enough to impact the earth's atmosphere and thereby offset the natural balance of greenhouse gases.

    August 20, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  15. SecedingfromTexas

    More important, is the fact that the tea party, and all who subscribe to it,, are putting America in a "losing position" and the
    Republicans are letting them. They are driven by pure hate and we all know it. They love Limbaugh and his oreo
    cookie comment, Perry and his outrageous insinuation that our President does not love America, and his twice as
    outrageous remarks about Chairman Bernanke. This guy is in the same league as Palin and Bachmann, just throw
    it out there and feed the frenzy. Well, guess what Guv, you have already been proven to be a "fudger of the truth"
    and its just starting. Your immigration remarks are assinine, you have not lowered property taxes, you just
    told your guys to raise the property values, and taxes now will be 14 cents/$100 instead of the 4 cents we paid last
    year. Why, because you gutted the education system, fired teachers, increased classrooms. People need to
    know these things, he will do the same if he gets to Washington. Watch your backs!

    August 20, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  16. Vader

    Ambassador Huntsman –

    This is the same guy who discounts evolution (confirmable by observation) while 'preaching' creationism (a 'Mystery Friend' in the sky myth). So why is it a surprise that he also refuses to accept man-made impact to climate change, particularly given his track record of non-enforcement and cozy relationships with big industry/polluters? Is there really any way for him to admit that the source of a good chunk of his backing has, in any way, contributed to the extremes in climate experienced more frequently over the last several years? I guess like gay, Gov. Hair will just pray it away.

    Speaking fo pray, given his affiliation with/association with the waaaaaaaayy out there New Apostolic Reformation sect, what makes you think for one moment that science and scientists are, in any way, valid in his eyes? People throw sideways glances at you and Mitt Romney for being Mormon, but don't even blink about Perry's spirtual beliefs. Frankly, as a non-denominational type myself, I find Pentecostals more worrisome.

    August 20, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  17. David in NOVA

    Of all the GOP candidates, Huntsman has the best grip on reality. I really wish he would be the nominee. We would see a very respectable, race with real issues discussed, as opposed to the mad-hatter sideshow hour that the race is sure to become with Romney, Perry, or Bachmann at the head. Unfortunately, Huntsman will never win the nomination. Obama should offer him a job as a high level Secretary when he gets done with his governorship. He's one of the few Republican governors (and few governors overall) who would be an effective civil servant at a high level.

    August 20, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. thomas

    Huntsman must take Perry out first , and then Mitt . Almost impossible seeing the money his two opponents have been pulling in $$$$$$. However Huntsman can win the GOP nomination if , Each day he goes after perry just like the drought in Texas , by the way why ins't Perry down there helping the people of the great state of Texas ? When Mitt goes up to Martha's vineyard next week , hit him hard about taking a vacation while being unemployed ! Ask Mitt why none of his five sones did any military service , you might need to answer that question yourself , so ask it first ! Don't worry about Michele Marie Bachmann, she's like Betty Crocker on Prozac and Ritalin , when her cupcakes come out of the oven , they will look more like burnt buns ! No male will ever vote for a crazy lady except the crazy lady's husband and then again he might vote for Perry when he's alone in the voting both, keeping the secret from his crazy wife !

    Best of luck to you Jon Huntsman , it's hard to be the only sane person in a nut ward !

    August 20, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  19. Matt

    Rick Perry scares me and as a fairly intense liberal that's not surprising, but When both sides have different opinions about economic theory, job creation, and debt reduction I can understand that. Economics is a very complicated science and in a world where sound clips and stump speeches are king it can be hard to explain economic ideas to the average voter. But when it comes to social issues and rejecting the findings of science and trying to break barriers between church and state that's where it becomes frustrating. I would be so much more likely to consider voting republican if they didn't seem to base policy on gaining the support of the church

    August 20, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  20. Stopthemadness

    Well I hate to laugh and run but I knew his shot was going to be short lived lmao.

    August 20, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  21. Republicans - The Not Intended To Be Factually Accurate" Party

    The Republican party has been taken over by Neanderthals who embrace swaggering, cowboy types but which reject thinking intellectually focused adults. They should rename the GOP the Flat Earth Party.

    As an aside, a journalist should ask Perry if he believes the earth is closer to 6,000 years old or 600 MILLION. He`ll say 6,000.

    August 20, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |

    Why is ANYONE giving this Dem dressed in RINO clothing a whit of attention, since he has like 0.0001% support? Oh, he is criticizing Obama's strongest competitor! Where are the stories of all the Dems who are criticizing Obama, like Maxine Waters?

    August 20, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  23. Randy, San Francisco

    You have to concede that Perry is consistent...with his ignorance on evolution, creationism, and global warming. Huntsman is right about Perry but a little too late to save his own campaign.

    August 20, 2011 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. Sorensen

    Perry is an uneducated idiot. It is not worth even commenting on. He will destroy himself.

    August 20, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  25. DENNA

    Perry's very candidacy hurts my feelings. If I were the GOP/TPs I'd pay some attention to Mr. Huntsman. He is, so far, the only candidate that doesn't seem to need meds to function. After all, if President Obama hired him once, he can't be all bad.

    August 20, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
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