Sorry, Mitt: Not Even Fringy Climate Denial Will Get the Tea Party to Like You
And you thought that Mitt Romney's transformation from a reasonable observer of climate science into a full-fledged denier of global warming was already complete. I did too. After all, he just recently said this:
"My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us." That statement is already brimming both with bunk science and economic nonsense.
But seeing as how the Republican presidential primaries have mostly been about setting the bar at new all time-lows, I should have known that we hadn't seen the bottom of Romney's sad, denial-y spiral. Alas, he has descended to new depths -- from that coded, vaguely reasonable-sounding climate dodge to loony climate denier talking points so far divorced from scientific reality that they have been the basis of a Kristen Wiig comedy sketch.
Are you ready for it? Here's what Romney said most recently on the topic, via Politico: “Now I know there is also a movement to say that carbon dioxide should be guided or should be managed by the Environmental Protection Agency. I disagree with that. I exhale carbon dioxide. I don’t want those guys following me around with a meter to see if I’m breathing too hard.”
Oh, Mitt. I know you're only trying your hardest to appear personable and likable, by repeating idiot catchphrases of climate denialdom's past (John Boehner, James Inhofe, and Michele Bachmann have all used variations of the statement to express their opposition to global warming science). I also know that it's not working.
Your actual supporters know that you understand quite well the distinction between industrial amounts of carbon pollution -- the kind liable to be regulated by proposed EPA regulations -- and personal exhalation. And the fringy science-denying Tea Party diehards who might actually buy such a line aren't ever going to like you. Not even if you renounce Mormonism, reject evolution, and ride to Washington in the bed of a pickup truck with a confederate flag painted on its side. They're still going to vote for Herman Cain or Rick Perry or Ron Paul or someone that isn't you. So you might as well drop the strained, folksy climate-denyin' charade altogether.