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Jon Huntsman: ‘I put my faith and trust in science’

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After delivering a vague response when asked Tuesday if he believed that humans are responsible for global warming, Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman Jr. said Wednesday that he has “faith and trust in science.”

“Let me be very clear on this: There is no change,” Huntsman told Politico’s James Hohmann after delivering a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition. “I put my faith and trust in science. So you have 99 of 100 climate scientists who have come out and talked about climate change in certain terms, what is responsible for it. I tend to say this is a discussion that should not be in the political lane but should be in the scientific lane.”

Huntsman, who has struggled to gain traction in the months leading up to the GOP nominating contests, made headlines in August with this tweet: “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”

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It was part of a larger effort at the time to cast himself as the moderate choice in a crowded GOP field.

So when he told a gathering of bloggers on Tuesday that he “would say the scientific community owes us more” and that “there’s probably more debate yet to play out” on the topic, it looked like a flip-flop in the making.

“Before we start setting goals going forward, I think we need to kind of step back and make some effort to make sure that people are on the same page, from a scientific standpoint,” he said, arguing that unilaterally reducing emissions “might debilitate economic recovery in this country, or hobble job creators.”

On Wednesday, Huntsman said he was just noting that the world has not reached a consensus on the cause of climate change, and that “there’s 1% that has a disagreement.”

“It was an additional comment about, well, is there an open question? I say: I know where I am….but there are others who clearly look at the 1% and see that there is more yet to be discussed and put forward,” he said.

kim.geiger@latimes.com

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