Rick Santorum Agrees with Trump That Raking Would Have Prevented California Wildfires

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum said on CNN Sunday that he agreed with Donald Trump's debunked theory that raking forests would have prevented wildfires in California.

"California is burning because they have bad forestry policies that left lots of fuel there for people…for on the floor of these forests to allow these fires to get out of control," he said.

Santorum's comments came during an appearance on CNN's State of the Union where guest host Dana Bash interviewed the former senator and other panelists regarding the climate change report released on Friday by the White House.

The segment opened with President Donald Trump discussing climate change and how scientists have a political agenda for releasing their findings, something which Santorum quickly agreed with as the panel began talking.

"I think the point that Donald Trump made is true, which is, uh… Look, if there was no climate change we'd have a lot of scientists looking for work," Santorum said. "The reality is that a lot of these scientists are driven by the money they receive, and of course they don't receive money from corporations and Exxon and the like. Why? Because they're not allowed to because it's tainted, but they can receive (money) from people who support their agenda and that, I believe, is what's really going on here."

Read more: Climate scientists slam Rick Santorum's "conspiracy theory" that they're in it for the money

Santorum added that no one is disputing that the climate has changed, but that he questioned how much mankind contributed to the change and what, if anything, could be done to reverse climate change.

Santorum's fellow panelist, Symone Sanders disputed Santorum's comments, saying that most scientists were now sounding an alarm regarding climate change.

"If we do not do something to protect our planet now, 20 to 30 years from now our life will be very different. So this is not, you know, some ploy by the lobby of the climate elite, I don't even know if that exists," Sanders, a former press secretary for Bernie Sanders' campaign for president, said. "This is factual and it is happening. California was literally burning last week. California was literally burning and that is not normal."

Santorum then interjected to say that man had a lot to do with the California fires, adding that forestry policies in the state were to blame.

"Oh, okay, so we just need to rake the floor," Sanders said, alluding to comments made via by Trump during an interview with Fox News.

Santorum did not answer immediately, saying instead that there is no consensus among scientists about what is causing climate change.

"No one again questions whether the climate is changing, the climate always is changing and the people that said 'well, we have to do something right now' 25 years ago they said the same thing and here we are 25 years later," Santorum said.

Bash reiterated that California is burning, prompting Santorum to again say that bad forestry policy is to blame.

A third panelist, The Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristoff said that the Trump administration's stance on climate change and other issues posed a huge risk after Bash brought up part of the climate change report which said ten percent of the American economy will be devastated over the next several decades.

"That should have some bells ringing and whistles blowing for Republicans and Democrats," Bash said.

Kristoff called for policies for dealing with climate change or insuring against it, including levying taxes for different things proven to be harmful to the environment.

"This is the greatest problem with Trump. He's frozen any attempts by Republicans to think about these issues, whether it's this or foreign policy issues or immigration. I would say were their reasonable debates to be had, or reasonable policies where you could address these problems in a market-friendly, non-government bureaucracy intrusive manner that would be more effective in my view," Kristoff said.

"But Trump is just…it's impossible to even have that discussion with Trump. Trump just attacks everyone's motives, attacks everyone's, you know, makes it seem like there's no reasonable position on the other side and then people, the Republicans, sort of follow him like sheep and the party looks idiotic."

Rick Santorum Agrees with Trump That Raking Would Have Prevented California Wildfires | U.S.