Moderator Jake Tapper asked the candidates to respond to a question on climate change that came in via Twitter. Tapper referenced George Schulz, who served as secretary of state under former President Ronald Reagan and is now active on climate change. The question compared it to the concern over the hole in the ozone layer in the 1980s, an environmental challenge the Reagan administration was skeptical of but eventually took on.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio insisted that he's "not skeptical" of climate change -- he's just skeptical of the Obama administration's proposed policy solutions. "We're not going to destroy our economy the way the left-wing government wants to," he said.
Those policies, he said, "make it harder to do business in America" but "will do nothing to change our climate, to change our weather." U.S. measures to reduce climate change would do little, he argued, because "America is not a planet." He did not acknowledge the effort currently underway to reach a global agreement to address climate change.
Christie took a similar tack. "We don’t need this massive government intervention to deal with the problem," he said. "Everybody makes a mistake every once in a while, even George Schultz, with all due respect." He also agued that there exists "some wild left-wing idea that somehow, us by ourselves is going to fix this problem."
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker argued that the rules from the Obama administration Environmental Protection Agency to address climate change would hurt manufacturing in his state, but "will have a marginal impact on climate change."