Washington governor and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Jay Inslee held a brief meet-and-greet on Sunday with members of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada and other interested voters in Las Vegas, where he discussed the recent rash of gun violence in America as well as his calling-card climate policy proposals.
“There was a guy on Fox last night, and he was talking about terrorism, and he was saying, ‘When you see something, say something,’ ” Inslee said. “That was the mantra since 9/11. Well, I see something right now, so I am going to say something: We do not need white nationalism in the White House.”
The comments echoed his statements made during the national debates last week, prior to mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The El Paso shooting suspect was reportedly targeting “Hispanic invaders” as he allegedly killed 20 people on Saturday morning.
Inslee said the White House and the U.S. Senate have failed to “remove weapons of war” from the nation’s streets.
He recalled a vote he made while representing a fairly conservative area of Washington in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994 that banned assault weapons under former President Bill Clinton. Inslee said he knew it would cost him his congressional seat, and it did.
“I have never regretted that vote,” Inslee said.
That ban lapsed in 2004, and much of the Democratic party and its overflowing presidential field have called for its immediate reinstatement. A similar ban was passed in the House this year but is unlikely to see a vote in the Senate.
Inslee then shared his usual campaign speech regarding the many progressive reforms passed in his home state — abortion access and reproductive health protections, increased minimum wage, higher teacher salaries, equitable pay for women, net neutrality laws — that he would hope to replicate as president.
He is not just the climate change guy, he joked, but he is putting environmental reforms first because “we won’t have a place to live” if he does not.
Inslee said he has “seen the tears of people whose lives have been affected by climate change,” citing California wildfires, Midwestern floods and rising sea levels in Florida. He added that he has a 200-plus page plan that has been blessed by Greenpeace and other climate organizations as the most comprehensive strategy to end fossil fuel dependency and rebuild the American economy around green energy.
The governor took a few questions from the room, including one from a woman concerned about election security.
Inslee said Washington has switched to all-mail ballots, which helps leave a paper trail and slightly alleviates issues of minority neighborhoods not having access to voting precinct offices. He then veered into a call for an end to the filibuster — something he said will be needed in order to pass climate change and gun control legislation as well as end gerrymandering.
He also asked the group to spread the word about his campaign, saying he is still 25,000 donors short of the 130,000 thresshold needed to qualify for the next national debate in September.
Inslee participated in a variety of campaign events in Las Vegas over the weekend, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees forum on Saturday. He will host two events in Reno on Monday.