Romney's initial global warming stance sounds a lot like that of former President George W. Bush, who during his two terms reluctantly accepted climate science while fighting Democrats and environmentalists over what to do about it.
"He realizes it's an issue. It's an issue that's real,” said Jeff Holmstead, a former Bush EPA air pollution official and Romney supporter who doesn't have an official role in the campaign. “But I think he's not convinced that the ideas that the environmental community are putting forward is a sensible way of dealing with it."
Nonetheless, conservatives are furious:
"All that does is tell me he's the wrong guy for the presidency, anyone who'd change his philosophy in accordance with where the votes are," Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), one of the leading climate skeptics in Congress, told POLITICO.
"Remind me again: Why is this guy considered the front-runner for the Republican nomination?" blogger Doug Brady wrote Friday on the site Conservatives4Palin after Romney's remarks in New Hampshire. "I may be going out on a limb here, but shouldn’t the Republican candidate oppose Democrat positions? Or am I living in the past and hopelessly naïve?”
Actually, dumbass, climate change isn't a "Democrat" position. It's science, not an idea that is forced into your head the moment you pull the Democratic lever. And given that Romney doesn't want to do anything about climate change, you shouldn't be too worried anyway.
Despite pissing off the Inhofe's and Brady's of the world (in other words, the core of the GOP), Romneyworld actually believes that taking an unpopular position has some political upside:
“The fact that he doesn’t change his position . . . that’s the upside for us,” said one Romney adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on behalf of the campaign. “He’s not going to change his mind on these issues to put his finger in the wind for what scores points with these parts of the party.”
It's pretty hilarious that these guys think they have a shot at making Romney seem authentic after his head-spinning array of flip-flops on issues like health care and reproductive choice. They seem to think that picking one or two positions that are unpopular with Republican base voters will suddenly make those same voters forget about all his other flip-flops, but that isn't what will happen: instead, they're just pissing off more folks by taking an unpopular position. And far from providing proof of Mitt Romney's authenticity, saying he believes in climate change but doesn't want to do anything about is is just one more example of an issue where he wants to have it both ways.