DNC Chair candidate Tom Perez was unable to identify a single supporter of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign who is now backing his candidacy for party chair during an interview with The Young Turks over the weekend.
Many of the Sanders supporters are backing Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and the race is seen as something of a proxy fight between the progressive wing of the party and the establishment wing.
The Young Turks’ Nomiki Konst asked Perez d supporters of Sanders had endorsed Perez for the position citing this as an example of party unity.
Perez attempted to evade the question by identifying one of his staffers who had previously worked for Sanders.
Konst countered that she was asking for a prominent member of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
“I think you’re asking the wrong questions,” Perez countered in attempt to wiggle out of the uncomfortable questioning.
“If we’re talking about unity, every single candidate has both sides,” Konst pointed out to Perez.
“Again there are people who supported Bernie Sanders in the primary who are going to be voting for Tom Perez in this election,” Perez responded.
Konst pressed Perez if any of these supporters were notable Sanders supporters.
Perez seemed to be getting annoyed with this line of questioning, asking Konst, “I don’t know if it has to, does it have to be that only celebrities count?”
“No, it’s not celebrities, union leaders, party chairs,” Konst said, as example of the types of people she was inquiring about.
“Why don’t you come to Takoma Park where I live? Takoma Park, Maryland is a wonderful, diverse and very progressive place, and come and talk to the folks, and there’s just a remarkable amount of folks who supported Bernie Sanders who supported Hillary Clinton and who support me,” Perez responded attempting yet again to dodge the question.
Konst stood by her line of questioning informing Perz, “I think it’s an honest question to ask as the future of the party is about bringing these sides of the party together right? It’s not a division.”
“The future of the party is about making sure that we are focused on what we have to do together to take on our existential threat, which is Donald Trump,” Perez told Konst, ending the interview on somewhat of a contentious note.
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