By Jon Winsor
According to Tech President and 140elect.com, Thursday’s pro-science tweet by Jon Huntsman was one of the most effective tweets on record by a GOP candidate. The 90 character message was retweeted over 3600 times (50% higher than Sarah Palin’s best) and earned him 4,275 followers on a single day. It also earned attention from major newspapers, such as the New York Times. Attention isn’t poll numbers (Huntsman isn’t polling well) but it’s attention.
Perhaps sensing that this could be an important theme for him, Huntsman is taking it to the airwaves. Jake Tapper posted some excepts from his interview with Huntsman airing tomorrow on ABC’s This Week:
TAPPER: These comments from Governor Perry prompted you to Tweet, quote: “To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” Were you just being cheeky or do you think there’s a serious problem with what Governor Perry said?
HUNTSMAN: I think there’s a serious problem. The minute that the Republican Party becomes the party – the anti-science party, we have a huge problem. We lose a whole lot of people who would otherwise allow us to win the election in 2012. When we take a position that isn’t willing to embrace evolution, when we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 of 100 climate scientists have said, what the National Academy of Science – Sciences has said about what is causing climate change and man’s contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science, and, therefore, in a losing position.
The Republican Party has to remember that we’re drawing from traditions that go back as far as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, President Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan and Bush. And we’ve got a lot of traditions to draw upon. But I can’t remember a time in our history where we actually were willing to shun science and become a – a party that – that was antithetical to science. I’m not sure that’s good for our future and it’s not a winning formula. Read More
By Jon Winsor
For the past few days, the Perry campaign has been laying down some serious anti-science markers. Between saying “a substantial number of [climate] scientists… have manipulated data” (an accusation they couldn’t come close to substantiating) and saying, “In Texas, we teach both creationism and evolution,” Perry has been going all out for the anti-science primary vote.
A lone, unambiguous, pro-science voice in the Republican field, Jon Huntsman tweeted today:
To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.
You’re not crazy, former governor Huntsman, you’re just working in a field where rational activity has had, shall we say, a strange definition in recent years.
Earlier in the week, Huntsman’s strategist John Weaver reacted to both Perry and Romney’s recent statements:
“We’re not going to win a national election if we become the anti-science party,” John Weaver, Huntsman’s chief strategist, said in an interview Wednesday. “The American people are looking for someone who lives in reality and is a truth teller because that’s the only way that the significant problems this country faces can be solved. It appears that the only science that Mitt Romney believes in is the science of polling, and that science clearly was not a mandatory course for Governor Perry.”
Weaver was also John McCain’s chief strategist in 2000 and 2008. In June, Weaver told Esquire magazine “There’s a simple reason our party is nowhere near being a national governing party… No one wants to be around a bunch of cranks.” Like with Weaver’s previous campaigns, this one seems to involve a large dose of straight talk.