DNC votes no on single-issue climate change debate, candidates protest

A common claim among Democrats running for office is that climate change is one of the most important issues for voters. Polling continues to show that early primary state voters rank climate change second only to healthcare in importance. So why is the DNC tying the hands of 2020 presidential candidates to come together and discuss the subject?

In Iowa, site of the first contest, 75% of these voters called climate very important, behind health care at 89% and ahead of “jobs and wages” at 68%. The margin of error for this subset is 4.4%.

In New Hampshire, where the primary comes after the Iowa caucuses, climate was again in 2nd among topics with 81% calling it very important, compared to 88% for health care. The error margin for the New Hampshire sample is 5%

The proposal for the DNC to host a debate with the 2020 presidential candidates focused solely on the subject of climate change is dead. Grassroots activists and other environmental alarmists stormed the Democratic National Committee’s resolutions committee session Thursday to demand it pass a proposal for such a debate. The committee failed to do that by a vote of 17-8. Saturday a final vote was taken and the resolution was defeated in a 222-137 vote.

The vote Saturday was essentially one that would have allowed candidates to ignore DNC Chairman Tom Perez’s rule that they not participate in unofficial multi-candidate forums focused on climate change. His rule bans candidates from appearing on the same stage at the same time during “non-party” events. In other words, unless an event is an official DNC debate, the party chairman doesn’t want two or more candidates on the same stage together. This is why the various special interest groups set up individual interview formats or have the candidates deliver speeches alone on the stage. Perez hopes to avoid candidates going one on one against each other without the benefit of a formal party-sanctioned debate setting.

Perez is trying to herd cats, though, and in a huge field of candidates like this one, he is under attack for not caving into the demands to make climate change a separate, central issue. He is trying to appease the malcontents by pointing out that he has given the green light to candidates when they appear at single-issue town halls and forums. Many candidates will participate in climate change forums on CNN and MSNBC this fall.

Flailing candidate Beto O’Rourke isn’t happy.

The Sunrise Movement kids aren’t happy either.

“This is downright irresponsible. Climate change is an emergency, but Tom Perez isn’t acting like it,” said Sofie Karasek, a spokesperson with Sunrise Movement, a youth-led environmental group. “We have just over ten years to completely transform our economy to avert catastrophe, but instead of being the adult in the room, Tom Perez is throwing procedural temper tantrums.”

In that statement, the Sunrise Movement spokesperson admitted that the climate change hysteria is all about “transforming” our economy, which is what we’ve known all along, right? Just like with the issue of healthcare when the Democrat majority rammed through Obamacare on a single-party vote, it’s all about wealth redistribution and picking winners and losers. In the climate change debate, it’s all about destroying the fossil fuel industry and propping up alternative energy hopes and dreams. Mostly they are depending on young voters to push the issue.

“The Democratic Party needs the energy and motivation of young people to win in 2020. The energy around this issue has been incredibly clear, yet Tom Perez keeps shooting the party in the foot by rejecting that energy and turning it away,” said Evan Weber, Sunrise Movement political director. “Without hundreds of thousands of people raising their voices, we never would have gotten the town halls on and CNN and MSNBC. This is the kind of energy we need from young people to win in 2020.”

Perez has been around the block a few times, though, and he knows that young voters aren’t reliable. Maybe they will turn out and vote, maybe they won’t. Primary voters may be single-issue voters but the voters in general elections are not. In order to not turn off reliable voters – like older voters and suburban voters – he knows the Democrat candidates can’t sound as crazy as Bernie Sanders who says that fossil fuel industry executives should be locked up.

The DNC chairman rightly points out that if the rules were changed for this issue, then candidates would demand individual debates on any number of issues.

“If we change our guidelines at the request of one candidate who has made climate change their campaign’s signature issue, how do we say no to the numerous other requests we’ve had?” Perez wrote in a blog post at the time. “How do we say no to other candidates in the race who may request debates focused on an issue they’ve made central to their own campaigns?”

The far-left extremists aren’t interested in common-sense objections, though.

Houston is the site of the next official DNC debate. The event is scheduled for September 12, with a second night being on September 13, if enough candidates qualify. The second is only needed if more than ten candidates qualify. So far, only ten have qualified. The September debate may be the first to have all the qualified candidates on the same stage at once.