Texas Gov. Rick Perry is a conservative Republican, and as such he does not believe that climate change is caused by human activity. But Perry went one step further than most in the mainstream climate change denier community on the presidential campaign trail in New Hampshire Wednesday, stating flatly that scientists drum up phony climate change data to make a buck.
“A substantial number of scientists [have] manipulated data to keep the money rolling in,” New Hampshire Union Leader editorial page editor Drew Cline quoted Perry saying on the stump in a tweet. Before that, Cline quoted Perry saying, “I do believe the issue of global warming has been politicized.”
Another Granite State reporter listening to Perry, this one from New Hampshire Public Radio, tweeted that Perry said “Scientists are ‘coming forward daily’ to disavow a ‘theory that remains unproven.’”
Climate skeptics love Perry, and this kind of rhetoric is why. While Mitt Romney is out and about on the campaign trail agreeing with the overwhelming scientific status quo on the topic, Perry appears poised to take up a view of climate change on the presidential campaign trail that would be right at home in a Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) floor speech.
Perry has been pushing the doctored science line for a while now. As ThinkProgress reported Monday, Perry’s book, Fed Up! takes a look a climate science and finds it to be “all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight.”
His climate views are legendary among the conservatives. No less than Grover Norquist — who knows a thing or two about ideological purity — told Politico there was no chance Perry would go all wishy-washy on climate change if he wins the White House.
“If Perry was president, one of the things I’d not worry about is a carbon tax,” he said. “I’d worry about big spiders eating New Jersey first.”
Update: Here’s Perry’s full quote, as reported by National Journal:
Fielding audience questions after brief remarks that dwelled largely on fiscal and economic issues, Perry encountered one skeptic who said he was quoting from Perry’s 2010 book, Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America From Washington, then asked whether misgivings about climate science fueled distrust of federal research in general.
“I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized,” Perry answered. “I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. I think we’re seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change. Yes, our climates change. They’ve been changing ever since the earth was formed.”
Check out video of the full quote, provided to TPM by Democratic tracking outfit American Bridge. The video includes some hard-to-hear audio of a questioner asking Perry about climate change; Perry comes in at around the :53 mark:
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