David Frum is right. Mitt Romney should be getting more credit for stating bluntly that global warming is real and that humans play at least some role in causing it. Here's how Romney responded to a questioner at a townhall meeting in New Hampshire last week when asked about the subject:
I don't speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world's getting warmer. 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 so I think it's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you're seeing.
The global warming comment demonstrates a trait I've noted in Romney before:The reason he has a reputation as a panderer is precisely that he's not very good at pandering.When Tim Pawlenty repeats nonsense about "fiat money," he does so without a blink of mental reservation. His listeners are induced to imagine that he really believes what he says - even if as president he would almost certainly jettison that belief for one more in accord with modern economics.When Mitt Romney panders, however, he leaves behind doubts whether he really means what he says. He's not in trouble on abortion because he changed his mind to appeal to conservative voters. He's in trouble because they suspect that he truly did not change.
Drop-down image credit: AP
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