Rick Santorum: Turn to me, not the Pope, on climate change

Updated

Former Sen. Rick Santorum stands firm in his view that “science is not settled.”

The Republican presidential candidate said the role of establishing environmental regulations should be left to the scientists – or politicians – but not the Pope, in an interview on Sunday.

When asked by Fox News host Chris Wallace who is apt to speak about climate change regulations if Pope Francis is not suitable, the deeply conservative responded by saying politicians.

Related: Santorum to Pope: Leave science to scientists

“This is what bothers me about this debate – the idea that the science is settled,” said Santorum. “But the point is that politicians, whether we like it or not, people in government have to make decision with regard to public policy that affect American workers,” he added.

When asked about the extent of moral authority the Pope should have, the climate change skeptic replied by saying “that’s important but I think there are more pressing problems confronting the Earth than climate change.”

“Any time you hear a scientist say the science is settled, that’s political science, not real science, because no scientists in their right mind would say ever the science is settled,” added the former Pennsylvania senator.

Santorum, who came up short in his 2012 bid for the White House, is a devout Catholic, just not his views on climate change.

Last week, Santorum said “the church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think that we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists and focusing on what we do – what we’re really good at, which is – which is theology and morality.” In a response to a speech the Pope gave last month, he suggests, “when we get involved with political and controversial scientific theories, I think the church is probably not as forceful and credible.”

Santorum was responding to reports that the Pope will release an encyclical on the environment on June 18th. 

Pope Francis and Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum: Turn to me, not the Pope, on climate change

Updated