Posted at 05:52 PM ET, 10/28/2011

Mitt flip on climate change?


(Ethan Miller)
Mitt Romney seemed to give the Democratic National Committee fodder this week for its “Which Mitt” campaign after he seemed to be unclear about where he stood on an anti-union measure in Ohio.

Now, the issue is climate change.

As my colleague Philip Rucker reported in June, Romney staked out a nuanced view on climate change that put him at odds with his party:

Romney, in his full answer to the question about climate change, maintained his position while offering enough nuance to extend an open hand to those who disagree.

“I don’t speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world’s getting warmer,” he said. “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. I don’t know how much our contribution is to that, because I know that there have been periods of greater heat and warmth in the past, but I believe we contribute to that.”

And Rucker sends in this from his notebook about what Romney said later:

Romney said much the same thing when he was back in New Hampshire a few months later. Asked about climate change at an Aug. 24 town hall meeting in Lebanon, N.H., Romney said: “Do I think the world is getting hotter? Yeah. I don’t know that, but I think it is. I am not a scientist. Do I think we contribute to it? I don’t know by how much.”

On Thursday, speaking at an event in Pittsburgh, Romney said this:

“My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet,” Romney said. “And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.”

Rick Perry’s campaign quickly seized on it, sending out a statement from Ray Sullivan

“Mitt Romney’s positions change, often dramatically, depending on the audience or location,” said Sullivan. “Voters need to consider the fact that Romney, in one week, changed positions on manmade global warming, capping carbon emissions, and Ohio’s efforts to curb union powers.”

And the DNC sent out this video:

The Romney campaign has said that Romney’s position remains consistent on climate change.

“This is ridiculous. Governor Romney’s view on climate change has not changed. He believes it’s occurring, and that human activity contributes to it, but he doesn’t know to what extent,” said Romney aide Andrea Saul in a statement. “He opposes cap and trade, and he refused to sign such a plan when he was governor. Maybe the bigger threat is all the hot air coming from career politicians who are desperate to hold on to power.”

By  |  05:52 PM ET, 10/28/2011

 
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