Huntsman camp knocks Perry on climate science

A top aide to GOP White House hopeful Jon Huntsman pounced Wednesday on rival Rick Perry’s (R) attacks on climate science, seeking to draw a contrast between them as Huntsman tries to stake out centrist political terrain.

Perry, the Texas governor, on Wednesday attacked the notion of human-induced global warming and accused scientists of manipulating climate data. John Weaver — the top strategist for Huntsman, Utah’s former governor — bashed Perry’s comments in an interview Wednesday with The Washington Post.

“We’re not going to win a national election if we become the anti-science party,” Weaver told the Post.

Weaver also took a shot at another Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, in the process.

“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,” Weaver said. “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.”

Huntsman has said he defers to the overwhelming majority of scientists on climate change, but has also backed away from his prior support for cap-and-trade policies, which are toxic in GOP circles.

The consensus view among scientists is that the earth is warming and that human activities — including burning fossil fuels — are a key reason why.

Romney also said he believes humans are contributing to global warming, but that he too opposes cap-and-trade.