Yesterday afternoon, Mike Huckabee denied his long-standing support for a mandatory cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse pollution. The former Arkansas governor, Republican presidential candidate, and Fox News personality strongly attacked the idea that he has ever supported cap-and-trade policy in a blog post on his political fundraising site Huck PAC:
In a recent internet post, a contributor makes the claim that I supported cap-and-trade in late 2007 while running for President.
To put it simply, that’s just not true. . . . This kind of mandatory energy policy would have a horrible impact on this nation’s job market. I never did support and never would support it — period.
However, when he spoke at the Clean Air Cool Planet conference in Manchester, NH, on October 13, 2007, Huckabee was unequivocal in his support for “cap and trade of carbon emissions”:
The one thing all of us have a responsibility to do is to recognize that climate change is here, it’s real. What we have to do is stop pointing fingers about who’s at fault and saying whose responsibility it is to fix it and recognize it’s all our fault and it’s all our responsibility to fix it.
I also support cap and trade of carbon emissions. And I was disappointed that the Senate rejected a carbon counting system to measure the sources of emissions, because that would have been the first and the most important step toward implementing true cap and trade.
Huckabee concluded his 2007 speech by repeating a metaphor from his book From Hope to Higher Ground, excoriating “thermometer” politicians who change their positions based on polls and popularity, instead of “thermostat” politicians who stand by their convictions and provide true leadership:
Leadership comes down to whether you want to be thermometers or thermostats. And that’s probably a term most of you in this room care about, thermometers and thermostats. Let’s remember this: a thermometer can read temperature and reflect what it is. It just can’t do anything about it.
Unfortunately, a lot of leadership in this country is like a thermometer. Polls will be taken, temperature will be gauged, and then speeches will reflect. What we do not need in this country is thermometer leadership. What we need is thermostat leadership. The thermostat reads the temperature as to what it is, but its primary purpose of the thermostat is to seek to adjust it to what it ought to be. And I would suggest, that regardless of your politics, that you insist that people commit to being more than thermometers, and they commit to being thermostats, to help to adjust not just the climate of this earth, but the direction of this country. Not accepting what it is, but leading to what it ought to be.
The Mike Huckabee of 2010 has evidently chosen to abandon the conviction-based approach of the Mike Huckabee of 2007.
(H/T Dave Weigel)