2020 Candidates Fundraise Off CNN Climate Town Halls

CNN Democratic Presidential Town Hall - The Climate Crisis -Beto O'Rourke moderated by Don Lemon - Pub H 2019
Courtesy of CNN

Democratic presidential hopefuls are hitting up potential donors after their participation in the seven-hour-long event.

After participating in CNN's 10-candidate, seven-hour-long climate town-hall extravaganza on Wednesday night, some of the leading candidates for president are using the event to pitch potential donors.

The Bernie Sanders campaign blasted a fundraising request pegged to the network's event on Thursday morning. "Last night I joined 9 other Democratic presidential candidates at CNN's Climate Town Hall, and there is no question that our Green New Deal plan to address the climate emergency is the most ambitious plan of anyone else in this race," the candidate wrote. "The fossil fuel industry will do everything they can to protect their profits, and they have an obscene amount of money that they will spend to try to defeat us. That is why I need your help to build the grassroots movement that can take them on and win."

Late Wednesday night, Mayor Pete Buttigieg's campaign blasted an email with the subject line "What Pete Said on CNN." The campaign told potential donors, "If you believe in what Pete said in tonight's town hall — and his comprehensive plan to rally America to meet the climate crisis — then help our campaign win and stop a climate catastrophe: Chip in a donation to build our campaign now."

Sen. Kamala Harris' campaign asked email recipients to donate $10, $25, $50, $100 or $250 after wrapping up her climate town hall, which was moderated by CNN anchor Erin Burnett. "Just a few moments ago, I shared my plan to address the existential threat of climate change with millions of Americans on CNN," Harris wrote. "I hope I made you proud tonight because our future is quite literally on the line."

The Elizabeth Warren campaign asked for $3 donations ahead of her town hall, which was hosted by Chris Cuomo. "Take a look below to see how Elizabeth has woven climate policy throughout her other plans, then make a gift of $3 to power this campaign and show your support before CNN's climate town hall tonight," the campaign wrote.

The Sanders campaign also promoted their candidate's climate plan ahead of his town hall. "Today CNN is hosting ten presidential candidates for seven hours to discuss the climate emergency," the campaign wrote Wednesday. "But only one candidate on that stage has a Green New Deal — a plan big enough and bold enough to respond to the climate emergency we face. That's Bernie Sanders."

Joe Biden's campaign used his town hall as an opportunity to poll his supporters on how he should address the climate crisis. "Joe's going on stage at 8PM EST, so we need you to answer before then," the campaign said.

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign mined the climate town-hall extravaganza for soundbites to use against the Democratic nominees, splicing them together and tweeting them out from the official "Team Trump" account — along with an encouragement to "TEXT TRUMP TO 88022."

"On @CNN right now is a 7-hour celebration of Democrat plan to kill more than 10 million jobs by eliminating the entire fossil fuel industry," Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh wrote on Twitter.

CNN also announced early Thursday morning that it will serve as the exclusive broadcast partner for an Oct. 10 LGBTQ-focused town hall held by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.