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Huntsman: conservation is conservative

When he announced his candidacy for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who served as President Obama’s ambassador to China, said:

“[Obama] and I have a difference of opinion on how to help a country we both love, but the question each of us wants voters to answer is who will be the better president, not who’s the better American.”

Now here’s another sad reminder of why he doesn’t stand a chance:

…Huntsman challenged his party… to protect the environment and acknowledge climate change as a real threat.

Huntsman, who is trailing in the polls but is working to build a campaign that could deny front-runner Mitt Romney the nod, criticized those who question the science behind climate change and loathe government’s role in fighting it. His tough message was unlikely to endear him to conservatives who hold great sway in the party’s nominating process.

“We will be judged by how well we were stewards of those (natural) resources,” said Huntsman, a veteran of three Republican administrations who until this spring was President Barack Obama’s ambassador to China.

“Conservation is conservative. I’m not ashamed to be a conservationist. I also believe that science should be driving our discussions on climate change,” he added.

Conservation is conservative? I vaguely remember when that would have been a relatively uncontroversial statement. But now? How very quaint.