As recently as June, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was on record as accepting climate change, and acknowledging the extent to which humans were major contributors, “I can’t prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that.” Over the weekend, in a characteristic move, Romney changed that position outright:
“My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet,” he said, according to CBS. “And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.”
Romney has taken flak for this as another example of his complete political malleability, but I think that’s a little unfair. Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty made a similar change when he was in the race – going as far as to apologize for his past belief in climate change – and if someone like Chris Christie had entered the race, he would have gone the same route. The simple fact is that Republican voters have embraced climate change denial, and any candidate who wants to appeal to the broadest spectrum of Republican voters has to go along with it.