Media Inaccurately Presents Huntsman’s Radical Climate Reversal As A ‘Squishy’ ‘Tweak’

GOP candidate Jon Huntsman discarded his earlier defense of climate science today, a move described by political media as a “tweak,” “softening” into “squishy” “skepticism”:

Carrie Dann, NBC News: “Huntsman tweaks climate change tone, says scientists need to clarify facts.”

Kim Geiger, LA Times: “Is Jon Huntsman softening on global warming?”

Juanna Summers and Alex Guillen, Politico: “Jon Huntsman tacks to skepticism on climate.”

Molly Ball, the Atlantic: “Jon Huntsman goes squishy on climate change.”

But Huntsman didn’t just “appear to modify his position,” as CBS’s Rebecca Kaplan wrote. He dumped his original stance — that the Republican Party is in a “loser’s position” when candidates attack the credibility of climate scientists — and now attacks the credibility of climate scientists. In other words, Huntsman has switched teams from Al Gore to Jim Inhofe.

In August, Huntsman attacked Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) for being “on the wrong side of science” when he cited Climategate-based conspiracy theories that scientists are doctoring evidence. Now, Huntsman’s stance on climate change is practically indistinguishable from Perry:

Rick Perry: I do not buy into a group of scientists who have in some cases found to be manipulating this information.

Jon Huntsman: There are questions about the validity of the science — evidence by one university over in Scotland recently.

Rick Perry: America shouldn’t spend billions on an unproven theory.

Jon Huntsman: The scientific community owes us more in terms of a better description of explanation about what might lie beneath all of this. But there’s not information right now to formulate policies in terms of addressing it over all, primarily because it’s a global issue.

New information from climate scientists has come out since August, in fact: scientists have reported that global warming pollution is rising at an unprecedented rate, that it is certain most warming since 1950 is manmade, and that the planet is now on track to catastrophic climate change within decades, far worse than the disasters we are now experiencing.

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