Presidential candidate and Colorado senator Michael Bennet (D.) said during MSNBC's climate forum on Thursday that "our democracy" has prevented action to combat climate change.
"I think this is a test that's not well understood by some of the candidates in the race and has not been well debated is, is our democracy up to this task?" Bennet said. "And that is a really non-trivial question. … When you lose a national race as we did in '16 to a climate denier, that creates a real concern because you can't act urgently on climate if you have a climate denier in the White House."
MSNBC host Chris Hayes expanded on Bennet's point about the democratic process posing "impediments to big change."
"I want to make sure I understand this because to me the point that you are making is a crucial one, right?" Hayes said. "The democratic structural impediments to big change on the level necessary to deal with the climate crisis are prior to the specific solution to what we will do."
Bennet accepted Hayes's characterization of his point, saying, "Exactly, that's much better said to the point that I am trying to make."
Bennet has been critical of the DNC's debate threshold standards, calling the committee's approach "undemocratic." The DNC requires candidates to poll at 2 percent or higher in four approved polls and receive 130,000 unique donations to qualify for the next debate.
Bennet is polling at less than 1 percent.
"Caucus-goers will decide who our nominee is, not the DNC," Shannon Beckham, a spokesperson for Bennet, told Politico. "Unlike some of his colleagues, Michael is not just laundering money to Facebook to spend $70 for every $1 donation."