What is really unfortunate about this electoral cycle is that we had a record turnout. And we should be celebrating this on a bipartisan basis, because we have done really well. We won the presidency. We have the House. We have the Senate. And Republicans have won in a number of critical races. It‘s undeniable. They won a number of Senate seats. They won a number of seats in Congress. And they won because a lot of their employees came. And instead, what Donald Trump and the far right chose to do is invest in this fiction that there was some sort of massive voter fraud, which is incorrect.
The reality is that we have won a series of really important races. And they’ve won a number of top-down ballot races. These are the facts of 2020. And that’s why we’re absolutely digging deeper to answer the question of how well we did for Mark Kelly and Joe Biden in Arizona and not so well in some of the State House and Senate races. of State. Really important question. It was certainly not for lack of investment. And that’s why we seek to understand what else we need to do.
Why was Latino support for Democrats is so much sweeter in 2020 after four years of Trump than it was in 2016 and the elections before that?
Should we do more with Latino voters? Absolutely. And I am very attached to it. We have done more than the party has ever done. But again, with each cycle, we have to build on what we’ve done before. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do. The disinformation campaigns in South Florida were very real. And they involved domestic and foreign actors.
And calls for socialism in South Florida have been more successful. They made the same socialist arguments in Arizona. But they fell flat. And they fell flat, to a large extent, because we had a very aggressive and long-standing organizational infrastructure in Arizona that allowed us to counter that.
Will the 2022 and 2024 elections be a referendum on President Biden’s handling of the pandemic and the economy?
What voters are going to ask is the same question they always ask themselves. “Am I better off than two years ago?” Am I seeing results that improve my life? Since they are able to return to normal, whatever normalcy is going to look like post-Covid, I think they will appreciate that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have led during this crisis.
Should Iowa and New Hampshire continue first in the presidential nomination process?
It will depend on the rules and statutes committee of the DNC.
I know. But what does ordinary citizen Tom Perez think?
A state or various states must be the first. The difference between going first and third is really big. We know the importance of momentum in the Democratic primaries.
I will try again. Could you argue for the defense of Iowa and New Hampshire first?
The status quo is clearly unacceptable. To just say, “Let’s just keep doing this because that’s the way we’ve always done it,” well, Iowa started to become one of the first caucus states, I believe, in 1972. The The world has changed a lot between 1972 and 2020 2024. So the idea that we have to do it because this is the way we’ve always done it is woefully insufficient justification to start over.
It’s the Democratic Party of 2020. It’s different from the Democratic Party in the way we were in 1972. And we have to reflect that change. And so I am convinced that the status quo will not survive.
How bad are you thinking candidate for governor of Maryland?
I am seriously considering running for governor in Maryland.
We need a governor who can truly build a strong relationship with the Biden administration, who will build strong relationships with every jurisdiction in Maryland.
Marylanders are like everyone else. We want this pandemic to end. We want to bring the children back to school. We want to get people back to work. The pandemic has disproportionately affected women and communities of color in Maryland. And I have been fortunate enough to work in local government and with nonprofit religious communities and state government there.
So I’m listening now. I’m on a listening tour in Maryland. And I think we really need leadership, with a bold vision for inclusion and opportunity, because the zip code should never determine the fate in any community across America.
AT Larry Hogan been a good governor for Maryland?
I appreciate the fact that Larry Hogan has said critical things about Donald Trump. I appreciate this. What we really need, I think in Maryland, are leaders who sweat the details of governance. The spread of the pandemic, the vaccination process has been nothing short of chaotic in Maryland. We have had an unemployment insurance crisis, people are waiting months and months to get their unemployment benefits. It’s just a failure of leadership at the state level.
I heard neither yes nor no on Hogan.
I applaud that he tried to take tests in South Korea. But then it turned out that the tests were not working. And he covered it up. And there will always be times when mistakes are made. And good leaders admit these mistakes. But he tried to sweep it under the rug.
Once again, it’s great to see a governor criticizing Donald Trump. But we need governors who do more than just criticize.
What would you do differently to speed up vaccine distribution and reopen schools faster?
I was on the phone every day with the county officials to make sure, “What do you need? What don’t you have? What do you have? What can we do? “I would ask our colleagues in the federal government over and over again,” Here is what we need. Here is what happens. I would have a war room set up and, again, every day I said, “You value what you measure. You measure what you value. What do we do?”
Donald Trump is partly responsible for this. It was a disaster. But you look at other states – other states have been able to get around that and are doing better. Our vaccination rates do not compare well. We are the richest state in the United States – Maryland – but we have far too many people looking out.
You said good leaders admit their mistakes. What were the biggest mistakes you made at the DNC?
I wish we could win more elections. And so I look at what we did and some of the races that we didn’t win. I was really frustrated in January and early February 2017, because Donald Trump was in power and he was issuing all kinds of executive actions that turned the lives of so many people upside down. It was in the middle of the DNC race because the election was not set until the end of February. So we took a late check out. And I think it was a mistake.
It was frustrating to see February 27, a month after administration started, and I show up for work for the first time. So I think we have to be very aware. And if there are times in the future where we’re in a similar situation, where we’ve lost the White House, we better make sure we start early because I had to play a lot of catch-up. And that was a mistake.