WASHINGTON -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry took his skepticism about climate change one step further on Wednesday, telling a New Hampshire business crowd that scientists have cooked up the data on global warming for the cash.
In his stump speech, Perry referenced "a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling in to their projects."
"We're seeing weekly, or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what's causing the climate to change," Perry said. "Yes, our climates change. They've been changing ever since the earth was formed."
It isn't the first time Perry has accused climate scientists of fibbing. ThinkProgress' Brad Johnson reported on Monday that in Perry's book, Fed Up!, the governor calls climate science a “contrived phony mess.”
Among his fellow GOP presidential contenders, however, Perry's views are not so extreme.
Herman Cain has called the very premise of climate change "a scam," while former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) has referred to it as nothing more than a "trend," accusing the left of "taking advantage" of it by creating "a beautifully concocted scheme because they know that the earth is gonna cool and warm."
Back in 2009, meanwhile, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) argued on the House floor that the very concept of global warming is faulty because “carbon dioxide is a natural byproduct of nature!"
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has also become increasingly skeptical of climate change. In a 2009 interview with Fox News, he said, "the greatest hoax I think that has been around for many, many years if not hundreds of years has been this hoax on the environment and global warming."
As for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), it's hard to say what he believes. In 2008, he appeared in an ad alongside then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urging the country to address climate change. Since announcing his 2012 candidacy, Gingrich has walked back those views, but that hasn't stopped his fellow climate deniers from hitting him over the flip-flop.
Watch the Gingrich and Pelosi ad here:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney broke with Republican orthodoxy earlier this summer, telling a crowd of 200 in Manchester, N.H. that humans are at least somewhat responsible for climate change.
"I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that," he said at the town hall this June. "It's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors."
Green advocates' best hope within the GOP presidential field may lie with former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Huntsman has been an outright proponent of the need for climate action, going so far as to sign his state up for a regional cap-and-trade program when he was in office. In 2009 he called Republicans' failure to address climate change at the national level "immensely frustrating."
Watch Perry's full remarks as captured by tracking outfit American Bridge 21st Century below:
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