CBS gets Republicans on the record on global warming

CBS News has been running an interesting series called "Primary Questions." They ask the candidates a variety of policy and personal questions. Sometimes this format seems closer to what we'd like from a debate in terms of clarifying policy differences. However, it doesn't always result in the nice contrasting sound-bites that you might otherwise get.

  Giuliani Huckabee McCain Romney Thompson
Human caused yes yes? yes yes maybe 
Cap-and-trade   yes
Nuclear yes   yes  yes  
Must solve globally
Tonight, the candidates are answering the question: "Do you think the risks of climate change are at all overblown?" I have discussed the real-world politics (what real people actually think) and some of the beltway politics of the issue. It is clear in New Hampshire, at least, that Republicans think that global warming is an issue that the government must act on, even if it is one that is a low-priority for primary voters.

In the end,  as I have said, I think that this is an issue that is more important as a credibility issue than a ballot issue. Very few people are going to vote on the specifics of plans on global warming. But people, including Republicans, are increasingly seeing this as an issue that candidates need to have a credible position on to be a credible candidate. Anecdotally, it seems clear to me that this is something that is important to a number of Evangelical and Catholic groups.

I have summarized the responses in a table. I think it is revealing.

The main proposal on the table is cap-and-trade. Greg Mankiw, a Romney economic advisor and a former Bush Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors has a very cogent criticism of cap-and-trade, but calls for carbon taxes instead.  The quotes from the candidates are after the jump. (more…)

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