It's Day Two For The Democratic Debates. It's In Miami, So That Means Drama

This report will be updated through the evening.

8:20 p.m.

Round two of the Democratic debates kicks off Thursday evening, but not before one candidate caused outrage by quoting  Argentine revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara in Miami.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who participated in Wednesday's debate, made the gaffe during a union protest at Miami International Airport. As he backed workers' efforts to unionize, de Blasio told them the eyes of the world were watching, then repeated Guevara's rallying cry: "Hasta la victoria, siempre."

De Blasio quickly expressed regret after Democrats, including State Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez and State Rep. Annette Taddeo called for him to apologize.

The drama seemed to overshadow an earlier simmering controversy: the near lack of climate talk at Wednesday's debate in a city considered among the most vulnerable to a warming planet.

In a two hour debate, just seven minutes were given to the issue. The venue where the debate was held is named for philanthropist Adrienne Arsht, who gave $25 million in April to start a center to deal with climate impacts. Demonstrators outside the hall marched from the Freedom Tower to cap a monthslong effort leading up to the debate to draw attention to the issue.

"I know that some of these candidates have weighed in on these issues, but we didn’t hear that from the stage last evening," said Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Executive Director Susan Glickman. Glickman had fifth row seats and will be at Thursday's debate.

Thursday morning, she ran into U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders outside her hotel and made a request: "I asked him to do his best tonight to bring clarity to the severity of...the climate crisis."

 

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