There is a demoralizing aspect to the Republican presidential primary campaign. It is not the tag team assault on President Obama. What is dispiriting is how some candidates are deliberately pitching to the voters' ignorance.

In one of his first statements as a presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry told a New Hampshire audience of business leaders that global warming is a hoax. Perry said, "There are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects."

The preponderance of scientific assessment is that global warming is quite real and that carbon emissions from human enterprise is the main cause.

With polling numbers that are in the tank, President Obama is a ripe target for a Republican challenger. But must a Republican candidate peddle nonsense in order to win the nomination? Are we supposed to assume that a majority of New Hampshire voters, for instance, are so ignorant that they buy Perry's cornpone on global warming?

The good governor also raised doubts about the credibility of evolution. His threat to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke revealed a gross misunderstanding of how the supply of money is critical in staving off a fear of deflation.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has taken an enormous risk among Republicans by asserting that he believes the science behind global warming and that evolution is real. For those statements - for being an educated man - Huntsman is discounted as a presidential candidate. That begs a question:?Is catering to the Flat Earth Society a requirement for being the Republican nominee for president?