SPOKANE, Wash. — Even though most Democratic presidential nominee candidates are making climate change part of their platforms in their 2020 campaigns, the Democratic National Committee is allegedly refusing to make it a topic for one of their upcoming debates, according to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.
Inslee wrote in a Twitter thread that in addition to not choosing climate change as a topic for the field vying for the 2020 nomination, the DNC also threatened that they would not invite him to any future debates if he took part in a different group's climate change debate.
"They explained that if we participated in anyone else's climate debate, we will not be invited to future debates," Inslee said. "This is deeply disturbing."
Inslee also accused the DNC of "silencing the voices of Democratic activists," including "nearly half of the Democratic presidential field."
DNC Chairman Tom Perez responded to Inslee's thread with one of his own on Wednesday, saying that he spoke with the media outlets hosting debates to ensure climate change would be included as one of the topics.
"I have personally told media partners seeking to host a 2020 primary debate how important it is for climate change to be debated during each and every debate," Perez said.
The DNC could not be immediately reached for comment.
Perez added that he thought it should have been given more prominence during the 2016 election cycle and that the Democratic debates will not be focusing on one particular policy area.
The Washington governor is not the first to feud with the DNC, as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders voiced frustrations with the party multiple times when he was trying to become the 2016 nominee over claims of bias toward former Secretary of State and eventual 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Fellow Democratic nomination hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) voiced her support for Inslee on Twitter on Wednesday.
"Gov. Inslee is exactly right. Climate change is the biggest challenge we face," Warren wrote. "Every candidate running for president should have a serious set of policies to address it, and should be eager to defend those proposals in a debate."
Inslee thanked Warren for her support.
Former Democratic presidential candidate and climate change activist Al Gore also voiced frustration with the DNC over their decision.
"It's a mistake for the DNC to refuse to hold a Climate Debate on the most critical issue of this election. Why wouldn't the party listen to its voters and give a platform to Dem candidates' ideas on the #1 issue, to contrast with this President's denial?" Gore said on Twitter.
Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal also voiced support for Inslee on social media.
"Jay Inslee is absolutely right that we should have a climate debate. Climate change is a critical issue of our lifetime and we owe it to all Democrats and all Americans to have a serious and substantive discussion on how to solve it," she wrote.
Climate change has served as the main issue of Inslee's platform. On the governor's campaign website, all five issues listed as part of his platform deal with climate change or renewable energy.
The Washington governor has released an extensive climate change-centered policy outline as part of his campaign.
Inslee faces a steep road ahead as he fights for the Democratic party's nomination, as the field of candidates currently sits at over 20 people fighting for the nomination. Inslee is currently sitting near the bottom in most polls.
The front-runners for the chance to face President Donald Trump in 2020 appear to be former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Warren.
Editor's Note: The video below is a report on a global climate change lawsuit.