The question, put by ABC's Jonathan Karl, was straightforward: "Let me get this straight: You do not think that human activity – the production of CO2 – has caused warming to our planet."
But Sen. Marco Rubio didn’t give a straightforward answer to the yes-or-no question.
“I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying,” Rubio said on This Week. “And I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it. Except it will destroy our economy.”
So Rubio’s not saying he doesn’t believe in man-made climate change, but he’s disputing “the way these scientists are portraying” it.
Karl, in closing his “This Week” profile of Rubio, didn’t follow up by asking whether that was a yes or a no. And he attributed Rubio’s presidential ambitions to “talk like that that Rubio hopes will appeal to the conservatives he’d need to win the conservative nomination.”
Sure. But make no mistake, Rubio has long flirted with climate-change denialism. Rubio has been giving climate-change “talk like that” since at least 2007. On Aug. 25 of that year, then-Florida House Speaker Rubio penned a Miami Herald op-ed that bashed then-Gov. Charlie Crist’s cap-and-trade climate-change plans as “European-style big government mandates” that could have “negative consequences.”