Environmentalist activists criticized MSNBC’s moderators for devoting only seven minutes during Wednesday night’s presidential debate on climate change.
Progressive groups dinged the channel for supposedly rushing through questions on environmental issues, even as the Democratic Party promised to make the issue front-and-center in 2020. Activists also noted the irony of holding a debate in Miami, FL without discussing global warming at length.
“Tonight’s debate made it crystal clear that the media and the political establishment are out of touch with our generation,” Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement, said in a statement. “Our survival is worth more time than vague, irrelevant, and trivial questions posed 80 minutes into the debate to a few minor candidates.”
Drew McConville of The Wilderness Society Action Fund was even more pointed in his criticisms. “It’s disheartening how little NBC news decided to allocate to the climate crisis that affects not only Miami but the country,” he told reporters after the debate.
One Democratic candidate who has staked much of his candidacy on climate issues complained as well. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who considers global warming the most important issue in 2020, told Politico’s Michael Calderone that it is “an existential threat to life on this planet, and seven minutes is not enough” time to debate global warming.
A major microphone malfunction interrupted NBC’s Chuck Todd’s questions on the subject to Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. The network eventually took a long commercial break, which included an ad from oil major ExxonMobil, an oil company Democrats say is contributing to global warming.
President Donald Trump even mocked the snafu in a late night tweet.
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