Issues

Inslee Slams DNC for Refusing to Host Climate Debate

Jay Inslee
Jay Inslee / Getty Images

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's presidential campaign slammed the Democratic National Committee on Wednesday for its decision not to host a climate debate.

Jamal Raad, Inslee's communications director, released a statement from Inslee on Twitter, expressing frustration over the decision and how the DNC warned them if they participated in another climate debate, they wouldn't be able to participate in future debates. Inslee called the warning "deeply disappointing."

"The DNC is silencing the voices of Democratic activists, many of our progressive partner organizations, and nearly half of the Democratic presidential field, who want to debate the existential crisis of our time," Inslee tweeted.

"We are running out of time. We've kicked the can down the road for too long. The climate crisis merits a full discussion of our plans, not a  short exchange of talking points," Inslee tweeted. "The next president must make defeating this crisis the top priority of the nation. And I will continue to do everything I humanly can to ensure the climate crisis is at the top of the national agenda."

Inslee initially sent DNC chairman Tom Perez a letter on Tuesday calling for him to "ensure that the climate crisis is on the agenda."

"The Democratic Party’s response to climate change cannot only be a few quick questions in the first debates where, in 60 seconds, candidates merely agree that this issue is important, and move on," Inslee wrote. "We need a full debate to really wrestle with who has the best plans to defeat this existential crisis, who has demonstrated the commitment it will take to get this job done, and who understands the scale of ambition necessary to see this mission through to completion."

Inslee has made climate change the centerpiece of his presidential campaign and is fundraising off the DNC's decision not to host a climate debate.

The Sunrise Movement, a youth-led environmental organization that has been putting pressure on 2020 Democratic candidates, called the DNC's decision "an outrage" and noted how "almost every major candidate has supported the call for a #ClimateDebate."

KC Golden, the board chair of 350.org, an international environmental organization, echoed Inslee by calling the DNC's decision "disappointing."