Huntsman sails around climate change
December 6th, 2011
02:52 PM ET
10 years ago

Huntsman sails around climate change

(CNN) - Former Utah. Gov. Jon Huntsman, known for having the most moderate view on climate change in GOP presidential field, suggested Tuesday the verdict was still out on mankind's role in the situation.

"Because there are questions about the validity of the science...I think the onus is on the scientific community to provide more, to help clarify the situation," Huntsman said at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C.

He added that while he defers to the National Academy of Science, whose members largely argue in favor of a manmade impact on climate change, he said when there's some "interruption or disconnect" from scientists who disagree, then the debate "needs to play out" among that community.

Huntsman's remarks seem to mark a slight pivot in the candidate's position on the issue, as the former governor has thus far been a vocal supporter of scientific findings supporting manmade climate change.

Notably, he made headlines in August when he tweeted out a blunt statement on his position.

"To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy," Huntsman wrote.

On the campaign trail, he's also chided fellow Republicans on the issue, saying they're ignoring the evidence for political reasons.

"All I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science," he said at a September presidential debate.

And Huntsman, who's lagging significantly behind in national polls, warned in an ABC News interview that the GOP was migrating towards becoming the "anti-science" party.

"I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science, and, therefore, in a losing position," he said.

But Huntsman insisted Tuesday he wasn't waffling on his thoughts about climate change and said he still relies on the opinions of those in the field.

"Do I defer to science and those that happen to do this for a living on this issue? Yeah, I do," he said.

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soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. David Greene

    No Breaking News here – he simply wants further information when scientists differ. HUNTSMAN 2012

    December 6, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. RINO Bil

    Yeah Huntsman is seliing into that old Republican snake oil. Question the science because your big buck donors tell you to. Express doubt when there is no basis for it, and in Rick Perry's case, slander a few of the scientists while you're at it.

    For those of you too young to remember, the GOP and the tobacco industry did the same crap in the 1960's when it was discovered that smoking caused cancer. They did evrything they could to stall the studies and cast doubt on their validity to please their big tobacco industry donors. God knows how many people died horrible deaths because of what they did.

    Now the're doing it to the environment and most voters don't realize what the implications of the stall, stall, there's questions on both sides nonsense.

    The sad thing is they are really scewing our children.

    December 6, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. vel

    funny how the same science that Huntsman uses everyday when it makes him comfy, is the same sciece that supports climate change and mankind's influence on it. What a hypocrite when infront of the right audience.

    December 6, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. Bill

    Dear Ashley – How is this a "pivot" exactly? Saying he 'trusts scientists' sounds exactly like saying he defers to the National Academy of Scientists. Anyone who doesn't defer to scientists on this is either a scientist or an idiot.

    December 6, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. PT Barnum

    Thoughtful, intelligent integrity hasn't gotten Mr. Huntsman anywhere with republicans.

    So why not dish a little ignorance?

    December 6, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. flatbroke

    Hmm, looks like Huntsman's taking up "dancing lessons" in hopes of becoming the next GOP "flavor of the week."

    December 6, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    "To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy," Huntsman wrote.
    I used to think that Huntsman was smart. That sentence is very convincing evidence that he's not. That's too bad.

    What smart guy would think that he could run as a conservative in this country and think he could actually win when he goes around stating that he believes in evolution? Even Rick Perry knows better.

    December 6, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. rs

    Oh, no! Huntsman found the Cool-Aid!

    December 6, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. ihatemylife.

    Why does every GOP canidate have to have thier doubts on climate change? Why? Huntsman is probably the best chance the GOP has but then he has to say something as stupid as this. Obama 2012.

    December 6, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. GetOverIt

    He's making sense. Ergo, he doesn't stand a chance.

    December 6, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If only Huntsman was a birther, he would be soaring in popularity with the low flying right wingnuts.

    December 6, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    While every republican clown candidate for president would be better on DWTS than running for office, I always thought Huntsman was above the stupidity. I was wrong, and apologize for thinking that one republican was intelligent.

    December 6, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. Patriot Awesome

    Why are we the only country that doubts man's role in climate change?

    December 6, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. Ian

    Time of death of any hope I had for a decent republican candidate this election: 1:02 PM PST, 12/6/2011.

    December 6, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. Voice of Reason

    Funny how the GOP now has to worry about people hearing their message and then 'thinking too hard'. They want science-illiterate voters. They want people who wont think critically. I am guessing that they know that if people investigate the real numbers behind this and other issues that the GOP is pushing, they'll find that things are really different than what the Rebulican hopefuls are telling them.

    Of course – Now that Hunstman has openly embraced reasoning and logic, he will be even further ostracized from the Republican party. Wait till he confirms that he believes the President was actually born in the USA. They might nail him to a tree for heresy.

    December 6, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Allen

    Huntsman is the one GOP candidate I could support. He understands climate change is real, as well as evolution, and he still has faith. He is a common sense guy, not a right wing nut. He would beat Obama hands down next year. But although he is consevrative to 70% of the country, he is a liberal to the 30% of the GOP base that votes in the primaries. The same 30% that prefer Newt, brought you th eTea Party, are owned by the Kock Brothers, and who have destroyed the Republican party and what it stands for...

    December 6, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |