During a Friday interview at the Texas Tribune festival, Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez refused to commit to endorsing Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House.
The Wall Street Journal’s Reid Epstein pressed Perez over his lack of support for Pelosi in her candidacy when he came out in favor of Andrew Cuomo in the New York gubernatorial race despite not having a vote.
Perez defended himself, saying he has a “longtime” relationship with New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Cuomo’s choice for the position.
Although he would not endorse Pelosi in the same way he did Cuomo, the DNC chairman did praise the House minority leader’s leadership.
Transcript as follows:
EPSTEIN: The chairman of the Democratic National Committee is not endorsing the House majority leader to be speaker of the House?
PEREZ: What I’ve said is it will be up to the new House majority.
EPSTEIN: But you’ve made endorsements in races before. You endorsed in the New York governor’s race. You’re not prepared to endorse Nancy Pelosi as speaker?
PEREZ: I am so appreciative of Nancy Pelosi and what she has done for the Democratic Party. Her effectiveness as a leader is why we have so many elements of our social compact. So I don’t have a vote in that race, Reid.
EPSTEIN: But you didn’t have a vote in New York and you endorsed in that race?
PEREZ: Well, and I haven’t endorsed in any other race, OK? And I have a longtime friendship with Kathy Hochul and others in New York. And so this is a race that is going to be up to the House Democrats in the aftermath. And I hope it will be the House majority Democrats.
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