This may not be the endorsement that Mitt Romney wants, but he got some lukewarm praise from former Vice President Al Gore this week.
Gore delivered the compliment via his blog on Wednesday, praising the former Massachusetts governor for his belief that climate change is actually happening. Here’s what Gore wrote: “Good for Mitt Romney — though we've long passed the point where weak lip-service is enough on the Climate Crisis ... While other Republicans are running from the truth, he is sticking to his guns in the face of the anti-science wing of the Republican Party."
Romney’s views on climate change sets him apart from most other Republicans in the presidential field. Romney says he believes that climate change is happening and that humans bear at least some responsibility for it. While soon-to-be candidate Jon Huntsman shares Romney’s view, the rest of the candidate field does not.
Michele Bachmann is of the belief that overwhelming evidence showing that human activity is contributing to climate change is nothing more than, “voodoo, nonsense, hokum, and a hoax.” Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, has stayed away from saying if he believes that human activity is responsible for a changing planet. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has transformed from a governor who took action directed at curbing climate change to a candidate now trying to appease the “anti-science wing,” of the party. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has consistently denied the existence of human-caused climate change since before Bachmann entered Congress.
The realities of the Republican field, according to Gore, would have made it easy for Romney to change his tune on climate change. Gore addressed this in his blog as well. “The putative Republican presidential front-runner, eager to prove his conservative bona fides, could easily have said what he knew many in his party's base wanted to hear,” wrote the former vice president.
All of this means Romney has something that sets him apart. But let’s not get to carried away here. Despite the blog shoutouts, Romney is no Al Gore. The former governor has been hedging on the issue so that the “anti-science wing” of the Republican Party doesn’t eat him for dinner. Politico pointed out this week that “Romney also says he's not sure how much the globe is warming or how much responsibility humans bear, or what exactly the best climate policies would be.”
So even when he’s inconsistent on the issue, Romney appears to be Gore’s best Republican choice. It’s not exactly a ringing endorsement from the former vice president and, even if it was, I’m not sure Romney would be thrilled to receive it.
Also on MNN: Mitt Romney's environmental record