DNC will not host climate-specific presidential primary debate and plans to punish candidates that participate in one

"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."

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Announced this week, the Democratic National Committee said that it will not host a primary debate for 2020 Democratic presidential candidates that focused on the climate crisis. Aside from this, the DNC has all intentions to “punish candidates” if they participate in such a debate that is hosted by another organization.

“The DNC will not be holding entire debates on a single issue area — we want to make sure voters have the ability to hear from candidates on all the issues,” said Perez. “You have my word that I will do everything I can to make sure our candidates are able to debate all of the critical issues during this primary.”

Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA), who is a 2020 presidential candidate and the initiator of a climate-specific debate, said he was disappointed with the DNC’s decision and will continue to pressure the Committee to host one

“Today, my team received a call from the Democratic National Committee letting us know that they will not host a climate debate,” Inslee said. “Further, they explained that if we participated in anyone else’s climate debate, we will not be invited to future debates. This is deeply disappointing.”

Not only is Inslee pushing back against the DNC, other Democratic presidential candidates, environmental organizations, and youth climate activists vowed to “fight back” saying that the climate crisis should be the next president’s top priority.

“Disappointed to learn DNC will not honor the rallying cries of their own base, and will not only not host a climate debate, but will also ban any candidate who participates in one from participating in DNC debates,” the U.S. Youth Climate Strike said on Twitter. “Again and again, the establishment and adults have failed us. We need policy now.”

While Perez said there will not be a climate-specific primary debate, he reassured critics that he “personally told media partners seeking to host a 2020 primary debate how important it is for climate change to be debated during each and every debate.”

Organizations and climate change activists are urging that the Democratic presidential candidates “speak out against” Perez and the DNC’s “disastrous decision” and “pressure the committee to reverse course,” EcoWatch reported.

“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 said. “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.”

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