In Their Own Words: GOP Candidates And Science

Jon Huntsman's recent tweet on science might not stand out in some crowds: "I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy," the former Utah governor wrote on Aug. 18. But among his fellow contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, Huntsman's declaration in support of both evolution and human-caused global warming made him an outlier. We compiled the Republican candidates' recent statements on climate change and evolution, and for comparison, included the consensus view among mainstream scientists and educators.

  • On Climate Change
  • On Evolution
Scientific Consensus

A long list of individual scientists and scientific societies, including the National Academy of Sciences, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have released statements in recent years affirming a growing consensus that the globe is warming and human activity is to blame.

Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. Statement on climate change from 18 scientific associations

There is broad consensus among groups like the National Academies, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and many other scientific and educational organizations that evolution is taking place. The National Science Teachers Association calls evolution "a major unifying concept in science" and supports teaching it as part of K-12 science education. These scientific and educational groups do not support "intelligent design," the theory that life was designed and created by an intelligent entity.

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Michele Bachmann
Carbon dioxide is not a harmful gas; it is a harmless gas ... And yet we're being told that we have to reduce this natural substance and reduce the American standard of living to create an arbitrary reduction in something that is naturally occurring in the Earth. — House floor speech, April 22, 2009
I think all these issues have to be settled on the base of real science, not manufactured science. — When asked about the "man-made climate change myth" and "green jobs"
at a campaign event in Spartanburg, S.C., August 16, 2011
I support intelligent design. What I support is putting all science on the table and then letting students decide. I don't think it's a good idea for government to come down on one side of scientific issue or another, when there is reasonable doubt on both sides. — Republican Leadership Conference, June 17, 2011
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Herman Cain
I don't believe ... global warming is real. Do we have climate change? Yes. Is it a crisis? No. ... Because the science, the real science, doesn't say that we have any major crisis or threat when it comes to climate change. — CBS News, June 9, 2011

There is no record of Cain publicly expressing his views on evolution. A spokeswoman for Cain's campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

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Newt Gingrich
Oh, sure... I was trying to make to make a point that we shouldn't be afraid to debate the left, even on the environment. That was obviously misconstrued, and that's one of the things I probably won't do again. — On WGIR-AM in New Hampshire on July 26, 2011, when host Paul Westcott asked if he regretted appearing in a 2006 television ad with then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the "We Can Solve It" campaign against global warming
[Evolution] certainly seems to express the closest understanding we can now have [and should be taught in schools] "as a science, while intelligent design should be taught as a philosophy." — Discover magazine, Oct. 10, 2006
I believe that creation as an act of faith is true, and I believe that science as a mechanical process is true. Both can be true. — Associated Press, May 18, 2011
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Jon Huntsman
I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy. — Twitter, Aug. 18, 2011
The minute that the Republican Party becomes the ... anti-science party, we have a huge problem. We lose a whole lot of people that would otherwise allow us to win the election in 2012. — ABC News' "This Week," Aug. 21, 2011
I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy. — Twitter, Aug. 18, 2011
The minute that the Republican Party becomes the…anti-science party, we have a huge problem. We lose a whole lot of people that would otherwise allow us to win the election in 2012. — ABC News' "This Week," Aug. 21, 2011
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Ron Paul
While it is evident that the human right to produce and use energy does not extend to activities that actually endanger the climate of the Earth upon which we all depend, bogus claims about climate dangers should not be used as a justification to further limit the American people's freedom. — Speech on House floor opposing
cap-and-trade legislation, June 4, 2009
I think there is a theory, a theory of evolution, and I don't accept it. ... The creator that I know created us, each and every one of us and created the universe, and the precise time and manner. ... I just don't think we're at the point where anybody has absolute proof on either side. — Remarks made at a state Republican Party meeting in Spartanburg, S.C., Nov. 1, 2007
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Rick Perry
I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling in to 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. — Campaign stop in New Hampshire, Aug. 17, 2011
I am a firm believer in intelligent design as a matter of faith and intellect, and I believe it should be presented in schools alongside the theories of evolution. — Standard-Times, San Angelo, Texas, Sept. 11, 2010

I hear your mom was asking about evolution. That's a theory that is out there, and it's got some gaps in it ... In Texas, we teach both creationism and evolution. I figure you're smart enough to figure out which one is right. — Talking to a boy during a campaign stop
in New Hampshire, Aug. 18, 2011
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Mitt Romney
I don't speak for the scientific community, of course. But I believe the world's getting warmer. I can't prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that ... so I think it's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you're seeing. — Reuters, June 3, 2011
Do I think the world's getting hotter? Yeah, I don't know that but I think that it is. I don't know if it's mostly caused by humans... What I'm not willing to do is spend trillions of dollars on something I don't know the answer to. — Campaign stop in New Hampshire, August 24, 2011
I'm not exactly sure what is meant by intelligent design. But I believe God is intelligent, and I believe he designed the creation. And I believe he used the process of evolution to create the human body. ... True science and true religion are on exactly the same page. They may come from different angles, but they reach the same conclusion. I've never found a conflict between the science of evolution and the belief that God created the universe. He uses scientific tools to do his work. — The New York Times, May 11, 2007
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Rick Santorum
I believe the earth gets warmer and I also believe the earth gets cooler. And I think history points out that it does that and that the idea that man, through the production of CO2 — which is a trace gas in the atmosphere, and the man-made part of that trace gas is itself a trace gas — is somehow responsible for climate change is, I think, just patently absurd when you consider all the other factors, El Niño, La Niña, sunspots, moisture in the air. ... To me, this is an opportunity for the left to create — it's really a beautifully concocted scheme because they know that the earth is gonna cool and warm. — The Rush Limbaugh Show, June 8, 2011
I'm not comfortable with intelligent design being taught in the science classroom. What we should be teaching are the problems and holes, and I think there are legitimate problems and holes in the theory of evolution. And what we need to do is to present those fairly from a scientific point of view ... And we should lay out areas in which the evidence supports evolution and the areas in the evidence that does not. — NPR, Aug. 4, 2005
I believe in Genesis 1:1 — God created the heavens and the earth. ... If Gov. Huntsman wants to believe that he is the descendant of a monkey, then he has the right to believe that — but I disagree with him on this and the many other liberal beliefs he shares with Democrats. For Jon Huntsman to categorize anyone as 'anti-science' or 'extreme' because they believe in God is ridiculous. — The Philadelphia Inquirer, Aug. 23, 2011

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