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Thursday
Sep052019

Candidates name check Inslee at climate town hall, praise his 'open source' ideas

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Democratic presidential candidates name checked Gov. Inslee during the town hall debate and gave him kudos on his anti-climate change-themed campaign

In lieu of a climate-centered debate, the same 10 candidates who will be appearing at the third Democratic primary debate hosted by ABC News came together to discuss their stance on combating climate change and face the voters directly on Wednesday night.

It marked the first ever prime-time televised event on CNN devoted completely to climate change during a presidential campaign with the candidates vowing to dissolve President Donald Trump’s environmental policies, pledge trillions of dollars toward clean energy and ensure that good stewardship of the planet would be handed to future generations.

Perhaps most notable among these candidates was the constant mention of the former "Climate Candidate" himself, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Sen. Kamala Harris D-CA, Sen. Amy Klobuchar D-MN, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren D-MA all gave Inslee shout outs -- citing him as a way to position themselves as the successor to leading the way on the prescient issue of climate change.

Castro didn’t wait long. He kicked off the evening with a thank you to CNN for hosting the forum followed by a thank you to Inslee for his work on the issue of climate change, saying he “did a fantastic job of bringing this issue to the forefront of this campaign.”

But some of the candidates who lauded Inslee's legacy as possible fuel for their next steps in the campaign did not always seem to understand what they were referencing. When Klobuchar name-dropped Inslee during her time on stage, she not only misquoted him, but she managed to misinterpret Inslee’s entire platform by referencing the “individual efforts like Governor Inslee talked about so well” -- referring to small daily things people can do like washing clothes in cold water to save energy.

In fact, Inslee never pushed individual efforts like these. His entire presidential campaign was based on grand-scale climate efforts and he often criticized what he called “half measure” approaches. Sources close to Inslee said they were befuddled by what Klobuchar had said.

It marks a new chapter as Inslee is now out of the race and it is a liminal moment for the candidates still battling it out for the White House.

For the first time ever, Harris came out in support of eliminating the filibuster -- something Inslee had been extremely vocal on. Harris not only name-dropped Inslee, she addressed Inslee himself using his own line: “I'm going to steal a line from Governor Inslee, Governor Inslee, I'm stealing your line -- and said, you know, Donald Trump says wind turbines cause cancer, and Jay Inslee famously and very with great humor said, no, they don't cause cancer, they cause jobs. Right?”

Warren hat-tipped Inslee twice when she talked about getting “tough” on carbon, and proudly noting that she had adopted many of Inslee’s "open source" ideas in her own climate plans -- the latest of which she announced on the eve of the CNN town hall and naming Inslee on the plan’s front page.

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