PEREZ: ‘I love Cory Booker. I think he’s a remarkable senator…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) NPR Host Ari Shapiro put DNC Chairman Tom Perez on the spot Thursday when he asked him why the Democratic Party’s presidential debate stage is almost all white.
“I take a back seat to no one, Ari, in my commitment to diversity and inclusion,” Perez said. “And I was proud of the fact that one of the candidates who made the debate stage was Kamala Harris. And it’s unfortunate that she’s not there. I love Senator Harris. She’s a star and will continue to be a star.”
Perez outlined the reason why candidates like Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, and Harris did not make the debates.
The DNC set an initial polling threshold of 1 percent and then raised it throughout the primary season to 4 percent for the December debate.
“I hear you saying, we don’t determine the outcome; we just set the rules,” Shapiro said. “So why do you think that what was at one point the most diverse slate of candidates in American presidential campaign history has now been whittled down to a largely white core?”
Perez deflected by talking about Harris and polling requirements.
“Well, again, I – again, I think what we’ve done here and – is to create a opportunity for everyone. And right now, the voters are speaking about what their preferences are,” he said. “They’re making judgments on who is the best person right now to carry the Democratic Party’s flag in our election next year and who is best positioned to do that.”
Shapiro rephrased the question again and again, but Perez could not find a good answer.
Then Perez doted on Booker.
“I love Cory Booker. I think he’s a remarkable senator. I’ve known him since he was mayor,” Perez said. “He is not – his polling average over the last two months is roughly 2%. And I think the rules have been very fair and inclusive. And it is up to the voters in these polls to express their preference.”