Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty

He may be an underdog, but 2020 presidential candidate and Washington governor Jay Inslee is deadly serious about climate change. The Democratic National Committee, however, is ignoring Inslee’s extremely valid request to make climate change a major campaign topic by hosting a debate focused entirely on the issue, according to The Hill.

From The Hill:

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

“This is 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. Democratic voters say that climate change is their top issue; the Democratic National Committee must listen to the grassroots of the party,” Inslee added.

Wow! That is very messed up!

“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. The next President must make defeating this crisis the top priority of the nation,” Inslee said in his statement.

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This is especially dumb when you consider that a poll from April found that 82 percent of Democratic voters believe climate change is a “very important” topic for Democratic candidates to address in 2020.

Several 2020 candidates announced climate plans this week, including former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Biden’s plan was accused of plagiarizing language from climate advocacy groups. His campaign said it was an error, and added citations.

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A DNC spokesperson essentially confirmed to The Hill that the party believes climate change is not the most important issue to discuss in 2020.

“While climate change is at the top of our list, the DNC will not be holding entire debates on a single issue area because we want to make sure voters have the ability to hear from candidates on dozens of issues of importance to American voters,” spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa told The Hill.

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This would seem a reasonable response, if we didn’t already know that the party is threatening to bar anyone who takes part in an independent climate change debate from participating in the official primary debates.

The fact is that by making climate change the centerpiece of his campaign Inslee is going against the wishes of the party. To hammer this point home, he sent a letter to DNC chair Tom Perez today voicing his concerns.

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“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,” he 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.”

Sounds good to us!