SAN FRANCISCO – The Democratic National Committee on Saturday quashed a push from climate activists and some national party members who want a 2020 presidential primary debate devoted exclusively to the climate crisis.
The national party committee voted 222-137 at its summer meeting in San Francisco against a resolution that effectively would have rolled back debate rules set by Chairman Tom Perez and freed presidential candidates to participate in a climate-only debate.
The move drew rebukes from the Sunrise Movement and other activists who say the party leadership is ignoring young voters’ priorities.
“The Democratic Party needs the energy and motivation of young people to win in 2020,” said Evan Weber, Sunrise Movement political director. “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.”
Perez has said throughout the primary campaign that he opposes making any of the party’s official debates revolve around a single issue.
Perez said last week in San Francisco that he wants the widest possible audiences for prime-time debates, with voters getting to see candidates address a full range of issues.