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Rick Perry’s Climate Gaffe

Contact: Kate Geller, (202) 785-8683 or

September 8, 2011  

Whereas Jon Huntsman reaffirmed his understanding of the scientific consensus on climate change, Rick Perry’s presidential debate debut last night was marred by a major fumble when he denied settled climate science. The media quickly picked up on what was arguably one of the weakest moments of Perry’s first primetime debate:

“After a strong start, Perry seemed to lose focus — meandering on his answer on Social Security and badly fumbling on climate change.” - Chris Cillizza

“Perry flat and factually wrong on climate change.” - Ron Fournier

“Perry looks unsteady trying to question climate change. He's an oil patch politician saying what they must. He's not solid and shows it.” - Chris Matthews

“Rick Perry just bought the farm on climate change. He came off as dangerously in over his head.” - Howard Fineman

“But, when it came to defending his own statements on Social Security and climate change later in the debate he floundered.” - Amy Walter

“But he wasn’t as sharp near the end, especially in a discussion about science and climate change where he seemed to side with the 17th-Century Catholic Church in not believing that the Earth rotated around the sun.” - MSNBC First Read

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