Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Perez and Sanders are on a cross-country tour of red and purple states in hopes of reenergizing the Democratic Party and bolstering the grassroots resistance to Trump. (Screenshot)

Under Perez, DNC Still Resisting Call to 'Name the Enemy'

DNC chair and Vermont senator speak with MSNBC's Chris Hayes on their national tour and Democratic Party messaging

Nadia Prupis

Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Tom Perez on Tuesday seemed to distance himself from the call for the DNC to become more progressive, as he and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) spoke with MSNBC's Chris Hayes to discuss their national "Come Together and Fight Back" tour.

Hayes noted that Hillary Clinton's "hopeful" campaign ultimately failed against President Donald Trump's counter-message, which often blamed immigrants for America's economic troubles, and asked if Democrats are willing to adopt Sanders' candid opposition to the ruling class.

"Do you have to name the enemy?" Hayes asked Perez. "Do you have to say 'these are the people that are screwing you'?"

Perez appeared to waffle on his answer, stating, "I think you're creating a false choice...what we have to do as Democrats is to articulate very clearly that Donald Trump's vision for America is a vision for the top one percent of the one percent. It's a vision that's divisive."

His response did not sit well with the grassroots action group AllOfUs, which is pushing Democrats to adopt progressive values. "If you cannot name who stands in the way of a creating a country where all of us have what we need to thrive, then you cannot lead America," the group tweeted. "The only way to win is by telling the truth about our broken system and placing the blame where it belongs... with Wall Street and corporate CEOs, the politicians who use racism to divide us, and a corrupt political establishment in both parties."

Perez and Sanders are on a cross-country tour of red and purple states in hopes of reenergizing the Democratic Party and bolstering the grassroots resistance to Trump. But the DNC chair, who was seen as a corporate choice when he was elected over progressive favorite Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), has reportedly been having some trouble connecting with rally-goers, having been booed on the road.

Hayes asked Perez to tell him "one thing" he learned about the residents of these states.

"The people of Kentucky, the people of Maine, the people everywhere I go, are incredibly resilient people," the DNC chair said. "They want to hear the message of the Democratic Party. They want to hear that optimistic message of inclusion. How are we going to make their lives better?..."

Hayes asked Sanders if he agreed.

"What I see and hear is a lot more pain and a lot more discontent than you see on television or you read in the paper," the Vermont senator said, describing one woman's account of experiencing poverty and hunger throughout her childhood and college education. "The Democratic Party has got to hear that pain. And it has gotta say, 'you know what? We're going to stand up to those people who have the power—both economically and politically—and we are going to take them on.'"

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Huge Step Forward': China Applauded for Pledge to Stop Building Overseas Coal Plants

"The writing is on the wall for coal power," said the president of upcoming climate summit COP26.

Julia Conley ·

Nearly 50 Groups Demand Passage of Amendments to Cut Pentagon Budget

"Pouring billions more into the military, far beyond even the level requested by President Biden, sends exactly the wrong message at this moment in history."

Andrea Germanos ·

Experts to Biden: Strongarm Big Pharma to Erase 'Moral Stain' of Vaccine Apartheid

"Every day that goes by, another roughly 10,000 people are lost to this disease—what are governments with the power to change this horrific statistic waiting for?"

Jake Johnson ·

'We Are Trying to Save It,' Progressives Say as Right-Wing Dems Sabotage Biden's Agenda

"The Biden agenda—our Democratic agenda—is at stake. It's progressives who are fighting to pass it in its entirety."

Jake Johnson ·

Bush and Warren Lead New Bill to Protect Renters Nationwide From Eviction

"This pandemic isn't over, and we have to do everything we can to protect renters from the harm and trauma of needless eviction, which upends the lives of those struggling to get back on their feet."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo