Mitt Romney won't deny climate change: 'Political suicide'?

The presumed GOP frontrunner acknowledges that climate change is real, and caused by humans. That's not sitting well with some conservatives

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said Friday that he believes humans are at least partially responsible for climate change, sparking outrage from critics on the Right.
(Image credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Mitt Romney is widely considered the frontrunner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, despite some political liabilities with much of the GOP base, particularly his past support for a health insurance mandate in Massachusetts. In New Hampshire on Friday, Romney may have committed another GOP apostasy, saying "the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that." That's in line with scientific consensus, but may aggravate key figures on the Right. Did Romney just commit "political suicide"?

Romney's batting for the wrong team: "Remind me again: Why is this guy considered the frontrunner for the Republican nomination?" asks Doug Brady at Conservatives4Palin. Romney was already treading on thin ice with conservatives, even before he "totally bought into the manmade global warming hoax." If GOP voters pick someone so "simpatico with the Obama administration" now, we might as well "adopt a one-party system such as that in China."

"Romney adopts Obama's position on global warming"

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Actually, the GOP should applaud Romney: Romney should ignore the "See! He's a RINO" (Republican in Name Only) spitball shooters, says Hugh Hewitt at his blog. The former Massachusetts governor is "just saying what every serious GOP contender will have to say," and should say, to win over a broader general election audience. The "responsible, conservative" line is that global warming is real, we don't know all the answers, but the solution isn't job-killing cap-and-trade laws, or screaming that the world is "headed toward catastrophe."

"The GOP and global warming"

Romney just can't please anyone: I suppose Romney's "basic acknowledgement of reality is considered encouraging and newsworthy," says Steve Benen at Washington Monthly. But since he rejects any viable solution to climate change, he's actually taking "the worst of all possible positions." After all, "climate deniers" at least have some excuse for inaction. Romney's splitting the difference, on the other hand, "seems unlikely to impress anyone."

"Acknowledging a problem vs. fixing a problem"

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