Green Lobby giving Romney a wink and a nod?

As early as last fall, some analysts were looking at Mitt Romney’s “shifting” views when it comes to climate change science. The story they were painting in October was far from subtle.


The longer he runs for president, the more doubts Republican front-runner Mitt Romney seems to have about the science behind global climate change.

Speaking at a closed-door fundraiser Thursday in Pittsburgh, Romney’s position on the causes of global warming continued the rightward shift that has been underway for several months. “My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us,”

Now Politico has done some digging into political contributions received by the Romney Campaign and the results are raising a few eyebrows. Some serious Green Warriors appear to be betting heavily on the idea that Romney’s conversion on climate change may be temporary and, once in office, he might come back around to seeing things their way.

Will Mitt Romney flip-flop on climate change if he’s elected president?

Some big donors are betting on it.

Romney and his super PAC have taken millions from funders with strong green streaks — despite the fact that the former Massachusetts governor has run to the right in the primary, proclaiming doubts about global-warming science and trashing President Barack Obama’s greenhouse gas emissions policies.

Julian Robertson, founder of the Tiger Management hedge fund, helped put cap-and-trade legislation on the map with $60 million in contributions over the past decade to the Environmental Defense Fund.

Now, Robertson has given $1.25 million to Romney’s Restore our Future super PAC, plus the maximum $2,500 to the Romney campaign.


Apparently she’s not the only one. Former Gov. Thomas Kean of New Jersey, another big Cap and Trade guy, is quoted as saying, “[M]y hope is, as time goes on, he will understand that not everybody agrees on how you deal with these issues, but I hope he will agree with 99 percent of the scientists who believe this is an issue that we have to deal with.”

We should note here that the candidates are not responsible for every person who makes legal contributions to their campaigns or to Super PACs who support them. Similarly, they are not accountable for every single thing their supporters say. But this is sure to spur questions. Should Mitt go so far as to return the money? Or at least thank them for their contribution but make a public statement to “set the record straight” as to his plans on these issues once in office?

If so, the list might take a while to go through, as the group of donors includes quite a few more than just those two.

Among the other green Romney donors is Texas businessman and philanthropist Trammell S. Crow, founder of Earth Day Dallas and winner of the Republicans for Environmental Protection’s Green Elephant Award in 2007. Crow and his family have given $71,000 this cycle to Republicans, including $15,000 to the Republican National Committee and $5,000 to Romney, according to donation data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

“I am voting for Mitt Romney and I believe in global warming,” Crow said in a statement to POLITICO.


This seems rather odd timing, given that some of the listed contributions date back far enough that we should have known about it before now. Then again, I suppose I’m just suspicious by nature.

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John Sexton 10:40 PM | June 24, 2024