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DNC Chair Tom Perez: We Can’t Have a Climate-Only Debate Because Then We Must Accommodate Everyone Else

Alexander Drago

Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez on Tuesday had a simple explanation for rejecting Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s request for a climate-focused primary debate: If the DNC said yes to this one, they’d have to say yes to every other candidate’s issue-specific debate ideas.

“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 Medium post on Tuesday. “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?”

Perez has been under fire for rejecting Inslee’s pitch for a Democratic debate on climate change. The governor had aggressively petitioned both Perez and the DNC to host such an event, a call that was also initiated by a number of progressive groups eager to have a discussion about what Perez has called an “existential threat” to the world.

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