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Jay Inslee says DNC rejected his idea for climate change-only debate

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday said the Democratic National Committee officially rejected his idea of holding a debate devoted solely to the issue of climate change.

Mr. Inslee, who is staking his long-shot presidential bid almost entirely on the issue, also said the DNC informed his campaign that if he participated in anyone else’s climate debate, he wouldn’t be invited to future debates.

“This is deeply disappointing,” he said. “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.”

The DNC said that while climate change is a priority, it’s not going to be holding single-issue debates because it wants to make sure voters can hear from candidates on a range of issues.

Earlier in the week, Mr. Inslee had written a letter to DNC Chairman Tom Perez urging him to hold a climate-focused debate.

“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.

Former Rep. John Delaney, another 2020 contender, had called Mr. Inslee’s proposal a “great idea.”

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