U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez went after Donald Trump, saying that he is “the modern-day incarnation of the Know-Nothing movement.”
In an interview on David Axelrod’s podcast, Perez was asked his thoughts on Trump’s “nativist” politics.
“I hear everything that is not America; I’m thoroughly offended,” Perez said. “I wonder how it is that somebody can continue to command the percentage of support he can. I mean he is the modern-day incarnation of the Know-Nothing movement,”
According to Politico, Perez blasted Trump for viewing food stamps and illegal immigration negatively:
The good news is that the Know-Nothing movement fizzled, and it fizzled because this is a nation that summons our better angels,” said Perez, whose parents are Dominican immigrants. “This is a nation in which the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards those who seek to expand opportunity, not toward those who substitute cynicism for optimism.” The Know-Nothing Party was prominent in the mid-1800s and strongly opposed immigrants and Catholics.
“The diagnosis of the root cause that people like Trump tap into is ‘the social compact is frayed because immigrants are taking those jobs, [the] social compact is frayed because we’re letting too many people get access to food stamps,’” Perez said. “When the reality is, I think, quite different.”