Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez appears that have forgotten some key moments in the Democratic party’s political history when he touted his party’s record on civil rights.
Tom Perez appeared on “Fox News Sunday” and talked with host Chris Wallace about the first round of Democratic presidential primary debates that took place this week.
Democratic front-runner Joe Biden has faced backlash from the Democratic Party over the past weeks for his insensitive comments about his work with segregationists and for his opposition to bussing programs that would integrate schools.
Tom Perez tried to come to Joe Biden’s defense during his interview, on the issue of race by pointing to Biden’s other work that boosted civil rights in America. However, in the process of touting Joe Biden’s record, he accidentally called on viewers to look at the “Democratic Party’s overall record on civil rights,” as well.
“Biden’s overall record on civil rights is clear and the Democratic Party’s overall record on civil rights is clear. And what I’d always want, when I was running for office and what I know these candidates want is they want you to look at the totality of what they’ve done in their career. The totality of fighting for voting rights, fighting to make sure we hold police departments accountable, fighting to make sure that women have equal pay for equal work, that we pass the Violence Against Women Act. And on this score, Vice President Biden and other Democrats have been leading the charge and we have a frontal assault with this president on these basic core civil rights and that’s what this is about.” Perez said.
Unfortunately for Perez, history claims that the Democratic Party’s record on civil rights is not clear.
The Democratic Party was the party of slave owners and segregationists in the late 1800s. In fact, part of the reason Joe Biden is in hot water is because he bragged about his friendships with several segregationist Democrats who he served alongside in the Senate.
On the civil rights issue, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed with a larger percentage of Republicans voting for the measure than the Democrats. Only 60% of the Dems cast votes in favor of the legislation, and leading Democratic Senators filibustered the legislation for 57 days.
Their record was even more dismal during the Civil Rights Act of 1957, where only 51% of the Dems vote in favor of the measure compared to 84% of Republicans. Republicans outpaced the Democrat in support for the Civil Rights Acts of 1960 and 1968, as well.
Tom Perez maybe realized his slip-up midway through the interview, where he acknowledged that the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln. He quickly tried to spin it to claim the “party of Lincoln is dead.”
“The party of Lincoln used to be the party of civil rights of the party of Lincoln is dead,” Tom Perez said. “It’s the Democratic Party that’s fighting to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to realize the American Dream.”