Bill Clinton Praises Two GOP Candidates

Sep 20, 2011 6:33pm

GOP presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman received some unsolicited praise from a former president today, though it might not be from the one they were hoping for. In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, former President Bill Clinton lauded the two former governors for addressing climate change on the stump.

When Blitzer asked Clinton to list the candidates he liked and the ones he was concerned about, the former president said: ” Well, it appears that Gov. Huntsman and Gov. Romney, at least, have not come out in just flat out denial of climate change. It appears that Gov. Huntsman said he supported the compromise to raise the debt ceiling because America couldn’t afford the economic consequences.

“So what I hear you saying is you’d be happier if Romney or Huntsman got the nomination than Rick Perry?” Blitzer asked.

Clinton said: “Well, it’s not up to me to pick. They’ll both lose if anybody thinks I’ve endorsed them. I’m just saying that I appreciate the fact that, that they’re trying to navigate a landscape that bears almost no relationship to what’s produced successful economies in the world. And there are lots of countries that are now doing better than we are in some areas because of the very ideas that apparently you have to support to get the nomination.”

Last month on ABC’s “This Week,” Huntsman told Jake Tapper: “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 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.”

Romney has been less decisive on his global warming stance. In June,   Romney said, “I don’t speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world’s getting warmer. I can’t prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And No. 2, I believe that humans contribute to that. … So I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing.”

At a New Hampshire town hall the following month, he told the audience: “Do I think the world’s getting hotter? Yeah, I don’t know that but I think that it is,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans. What I’m not willing to do is spend trillions of dollars on something I don’t know the answer to.”

ABC News’ Emily Friedman contributed to this report.

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