Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who is running a climate-focused (and longshot) 2020 campaign, last night asked the Democratic National Committee to set up a debate focused solely on climate change.

What he's saying: "This can’t be a one-off question where candidates get to give a soundbite and move on," Inslee, who launched a petition, said in a statement. "Climate change is at the heart of every issue that matters to voters, and voters deserve to hear what 2020 presidential candidates plan to do about it."

But, but, but: The DNC offered an extremely noncommittal statement last night, even as the party emphasized the topic's importance and said Republicans "refuse to even acknowledge that climate change is real."

What they're saying: Communications director Xochitl Hinojosa said the DNC's goal is to provide candidates a platform for "vigorous discussion" on topics including the economy, climate and health care. She added:

  • "Democrats are eager to put forward their solutions to combat climate change, and we will absolutely have these discussions during the 2020 primary process."
  • "The DNC is currently ironing out the details for all 12 debates and will work with the networks to ensure that Democrats have a platform to discuss these issues directly with the American people."

Go deeper: Inside the climate election of 2020

Go deeper

Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19.
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.
What Matters 2020

The missed opportunities for 2020 and beyond

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Jason Armond (Los Angeles Times), Noam Galai, Jabin Botsford (The Washington Post), Alex Wong/Getty Images

As the 2020 presidential campaign draws to a close, President Trump and Joe Biden have focused little on some of the most sweeping trends that will outlive the fights of the moment.

Why it matters: Both have engaged on some issues, like climate change and China, on their own terms, and Biden has addressed themes like economic inequality that work to his advantage. But others have gone largely unmentioned — a missed opportunity to address big shifts that are changing the country.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.