Original article published on Washington Examiner by Daniel Chaitin available here
A storm is brewing in the Democratic primary contest as entrepreneur Andrew Yang’s campaign said it is “disappointed” the Weather Channel did not invite him to participate in its 2020 special on climate change.
The hourlong show, set to air next month, is currently set to feature interviews with several candidates for president, but not Yang.
Yang’s campaign released a statement expressing its displeasure and noting the tech businessman has released an extensive policy plan that aims to achieve net-zero emissions overall by 2049.
“Andrew Yang has released an extensive and detailed plan to combat climate change and we’re disappointed that the Weather Channel didn’t reach out to let their viewers hear about it, especially given his place in the polls and fundraising,” said Zach Graumann, Yang’s campaign manager.
“Andrew Yang is focused on real solutions for the American people, and as we’ve seen in the past week, whether it’s at the debate or the 10-hour Q&A he conducted on Friday, the American people want to hear what Andrew Yang has to offer. The media needs to learn from the mistakes of 2016 and get it right this cycle,” he added.
The Weather Channel said time constraints prevented an invite to Yang and other candidates who are not at the top of the polls.
“In the interest of time, The Weather Channel decided to choose the top seven Democrats in the polls, in accordance with the DNC criteria to qualify for the third debate. At the time of the network’s production deadlines, Senator Klobuchar, Rep. Castro, and Mr. Yang were not in the top seven. As this is a bipartisan special, the network invited the three Republican challengers and President Trump. We are encouraged that many of the candidates have plans to address our changing climate and hope to have other opportunities for viewers to hear their thinking ahead of Election Day,” said a statement provided to the Washington Examiner said.
Although he is considered a long-shot candidate, Yang has roughly 2.2% support, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls, and raised a sizable $10 million in third-quarter fundraising.
Candidates for the Republican and Democratic nomination will be featured in the Weather Channel’s special on Nov. 7. On the GOP side will be former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, and former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford. From the Democratic primary contest, there will be seven candidates: Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
According to the Associated Press, former Vice President Joe Biden can’t make it because of a scheduling issue. President Trump, a climate change skeptic, declined to participate.