At a house party in Bedford, New Hampshire, Bush acknowledged climate change is real, but that human activity might not be causing those changes.
"I don't think the science is clear of what percentage is man-made and what percentage is natural. It's convoluted," Bush said.
"For the people to say the science is decided on this is really arrogant, to be honest with you," he said, "It's this intellectual arrogance that now you can't have a conversation about it, even. The climate is changing. We need to adapt to that reality."
While Bush thankfully recognized climate change is actually occurring (compared to his conservative peers), Democrats immediately struck back on his absurd skepticism over whether these environmental effects are directly caused by human activity or not.
“Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that human activity has led to climate change. Ninety-seven percent," said Holly Shulman, national press secretary for the Democratic National Committee. "But Jeb Bush thinks they’re wrong. Who’s being intellectually arrogant now?"
Bush drew further ire by criticizing President Obama’s commencement speech on Wednesday to the United States Coast Guard, in which he called climate change “an immediate risk to our national security.”
Obama cited political instability, more expensive rescue missions due to the increase and intensity of natural disasters and rising sea levels “cost[ing]our nation $200 billion.”
"Denying it—or refusing to deal with it—endangers our national security and undermines the readiness of our forces," Obama said. "Politicians who care about military readiness ought to care about this too."
Yet Bush argued that climate change should not be our “highest priority.”
Bush has portrayed his Republican image as moderate, but his recent statements on the Iraq War, Middle East foreign policy and the threat of climate change clearly paint him as no different than any other conservative politician.