Mitt Romney’s recent statements endorsing the idea global warming is the result of human activity have raised eyebrows among conservatives who see such a stance as a capitulation to liberal myths. But the strongest sign his stand might cost him conservative votes hasn’t come from a Republican but from someone whom members of his own party can’t stand: former Vice President Al Gore. Gore, who has made a lucrative career peddling alarmist ideas about the environment since his time in Washington, gave Romney a big thumbs up in his own blog, praising him for taking on the “anti-science wing of the Republican Party.”

As Politico pointed out  last week, Romney’s views on global warming haven’t received much attention because conservative critics have been so focused on what they rightly consider his hypocritical record on health care. But with the former Massachusetts governor now widely considered the frontrunner of the GOP presidential field, he ought to expect even greater scrutiny on a host of other issues. Which means the Al Gore endorsement will probably be thrown in Romney’s face in both campaign ads and perhaps even at a future Republican debate (though perhaps not by Tim Pawlenty who has already shown himself too timorous to criticize Romney to his face).

To be fair, Romney’s stance on global warming is nowhere near as extreme as that of Gore, who won an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize for his film about the subject even though many of the extreme claims about both warming and the consequences of such a trend have been debunked. He has also, unlike Jon Huntsman, not endorsed cap and trade policies that would hamstring the U.S. economy for the sake of warming ideology. But the presidential candidate has stuck to a position that seems calculated to keep his options open in a general election: endorsing global warming science while expressing skepticism about liberal ideas put forward to do something about it.

Still, Romney’s global warming statements have given conservative critics another reason to be wary of him and, no doubt, will fuel the determination of many in the party to stop him from being the nominee. This may not present a problem for him at the moment. The GOP field is crowded, and Romney may not need many conservative votes to win pluralities in the first states to vote. But after the early primaries, when in all likelihood Romney will be left to face one or two surviving challengers from the right, he may come to regret Al Gore’s endorsement.

+ A A -
You may also like
Share via
Copy link