WASHINGTON -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has developed a reputation for endearing political bluntness. But comments he reportedly made about global warming on Tuesday afternoon do seem a bit out of tune with a state that remains, generally, progressive on environmental matters.
During a town hall meeting at Toms River, the governor reportedly said that he was skeptical that humans were causing the earth to warm. There are no quotes accompanying the AP piece, save for a note that Christie says "more science" is needed to convince him. But Christie's office provided the Huffington Post with his full remarks early on Wednesday:
Mankind, is it responsible for global warming? Well I'll tell you something. I have seen evidence on both sides of it. I'm skeptical -- I'm skeptical. And you know, I think at the at the end of this, I think we're going to need more science to prove something one way or the other. But you know - cause I've seen arguments on both sides of it that at times - like I'll watch something about man made global warming, and I go wow, that's fairly convincing. And then I'll go out and watch the other side of the argument, and I go huh, that's fairly convincing too. So, I go to be honest with you, I don't know. And that's probably one of the reason's why I became a lawyer, and not a doctor, or an engineer, or a scientist, because I can't figure this stuff out. But I would say at this point, that has to be proven, and I'm a little skeptical about it. Thank you.
Skepticism of man-made global warming is a big trend in Republican circles these days. And the temptation will undoubtedly be to place Christie's position in the broader context of talk that he's privately eying a run for the Republican nomination for president.
That said, he's expressed modicums of skepticism about global warming in various ways before, though never so brusquely. Last spring, Christie took the state's entire allocation for its global warming fund ($65 million) to help close its budget deficit.
UPDATE: Michael Drewniak, the governor's press secretary, added the following remarks shortly after this story was published:
The Governor believes the effects of global warming obviously can be damaging to the earth, which is why we have to continue to monitor its impact and get further scientific evidence.