Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez told environmental activists that it would be “impractical” for the party to host a primary debate on climate change, according to a Sunday Tampa Bay Times report.
On Saturday, the activists confronted Perez at a gala in Orlando, Florida, and asked him about the party denying 2020 Democratic candidate and Washington governor Jay Inslee’s request to hold a debate for the candidates to discuss solutions to global warming.
Perez told them that “once you have one single issue debate, then every debate leads to become a single issue debate in order to address the concerns.”
“We will have issue areas in debates, including but not limited to climate, but it’s just not practical for us to have one debate on democracy reform, one debate on voting,” the chairman said. “And as someone who worked for Barack Obama, the most remarkable thing about him was his tenacity to multitask, and a president must be able to multitask.”
Inslee, who’s made climate change a cornerstone of his campaign, expressed disappointment on Wednesday when he announced the DNC’s decision.
“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 climate crisis merits a full discussion of our plans, not a short exchange of talking points.”