Former Gov. Mitt Romney has had the temerity to suggest that climate change is a real issue. Conservative radio windbag Rush Limbaugh jumped all over him. So did former Sen. Rick Santorum who called it "junk science."
This is the GOP's problem. They should be focusing like a laser beam on the economy, but they will continually be drawn into debates over climate change, or Paul Revere, or immigration, or the Paul Ryan plan to eviscerate Medicare and Medicaid, or Obama's birth certificate, and in such debates, there is always an incentive to go further to the right to catch the media wave and appeal to the truest of true believers.
Ronald reagan used to joke, whenever there was some confusion about what his administration intended, that "the right hand often doesn't know what the far-right hand is doing." But that was a joke. The bad news for the GOP today is that it is no longer a joke.