‘Where’s Tom Perez?’: DNC Chair Goes Silent as Iowa Caucus Fail Festers

Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez, makes his way through the spin room after the second round of the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by CNN at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan on July 31, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / …
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez went noticeably silent amid the confusion and chaos festering in Iowa as the lack of election results continued to leave candidates and voters in the dark.

Zero precincts had reported results well into Tuesday, the day after the Iowa caucuses. The Iowa Democrat Party initially attributed the delay on Monday evening to “quality control” but reported “inconsistencies” and blamed it on a “coding issue in the reporting system.”

While party officials are promising partial results by 5 p.m. ET, the delay has sparked outrage among people across the political spectrum — from supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to members of the Trump campaign. Noticeably silent, however, is Tom Perez, the chair of the DNC. Even CNN’s Chris “Fredo” Cuomo openly wondered where the DNC chair had gone.

“Where’s Tom Perez? Where’s the head of the DNC? Give us a call Tom. Tell us this is gonna be okay,” he said on Tuesday morning:

Perez had already been under fire for a series of controversies related to the presidential election, from appointing former Hillary Clinton surrogates — who were openly hostile to Sanders — to a committee overseeing the rules of the party’s July convention, to the party changing the debate rules and thereby opening the door for Michael Bloomberg (D) to participate.

It took Perez days to defend the DNC’s decision to modify the debate requirements on social media. He also used his lengthy Twitter thread to quash rumblings of DNC members discussing a change to convention rules as part of an effort to potentially stop Sanders.

Perez defended the various reforms in a lengthy statement, which he posted to Twitter on Monday:

We know that our democracy works the best when every voice is heard — that’s why the @DNC made historic reforms to our primary process to return the power to where it belongs: the grassroots. That’s why the DNC voted to shift power in the presidential primary process away from superdelegates and further towards our grassroots supporters — on the first ballot, our nominee will be selected by pledged delegates. We also established new rules for the state caucuses and primaries for 2020. For the first time, the DNC rules specify a preference for the use of primaries so that more people can participate in the presidential nomination process. Caucus states are required to provide absentee voting or some other method for those who cannot vote in person, have votes recorded on paper in case of a recount, and set the national convention delegates based on the first level of voting. The grassroots donor threshold meant that anyone who wanted to see a particular candidate on stage had the ability to help make it happen. Millions of grassroots donors were energized earlier than ever before in the process, and we saw increased engagement from supporters. Now, with voting underway, candidates who have secured just one pledged delegate or are polling above 10% can make the debate stage. I’m exceptionally proud of the reforms the @DNC has made to fulfill our promise to our voters and rebuild their trust in our party. These changes are all about the future. They’re about growing our party, uniting our party, and earning the trust of committed Democrats like you.

As of 1:30 p.m. ET, Perez had yet to issue a statement addressing the confusion and concerns sparked by the massive delay in the Iowa caucus results, causing many on social media to blast the DNC and call for Perez’s resignation.

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