WASHINGTON –- George P. Bush -- son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, nephew of former President George W. Bush and grandson of former President George H.W. Bush -- is the latest member of his famous family to get national attention, with a feature news spot on ABC News Sunday.
George P. Bush is currently running for Texas land commissioner, but the story focused on his 2016 intentions. Bush has been lauded in other news stories for departing from his Republican counterparts on issues like climate change. But in the ABC News segment, he deployed a line many of his GOP colleagues have used this year to deflect questions about whether climate change is caused by the burning of fossil fuels: "I'm not a scientist …"
ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl acknowledged in the segment that Bush "attempts to stake out a middle ground on climate change … well, sort of." Said Bush:
The Texas coastline is impacted by rising sea levels. And again, the question is whether or not that's man-made, and I'll leave that to the scientists. But at least in Texas, the facts showed that on average about 17 feet of wet beach is lost due to coastal erosion and so.
Karl followed up to ask more specifically about whether human activity is contributing to it, which is where Bush got dodgy:
Well, we'll see in terms of the science, in terms … there's a wide range that has been discussed. And, again, I'm not a scientist by any stretch. But everywhere from, you know, no impact at all to 100 percent.
George P. Bush's position on climate change has been covered before, most recently in a piece for the Texas Tribune that also ran on The New York Times site, which painted him as a moderate among Republicans. But Bush staffers pushed back on that depiction in a follow-up story in Breitbart, arguing that the reporter had mischaracterized Bush's position.
His uncle, George W. Bush, spent most of his time in office avoiding the subject of climate change and undermining government scientists. But the 43rd president eventually softened his tack, acknowledging greenhouse gases were contributing to the problem. He even gave a Rose Garden speech on the issue.