Tom Perez, the head of the Democratic National Committee, said Thursday that Democrats are not targeting the voters that chanted “send her back” at President Trump’s campaign rally in North Carolina this week, saying those people represent a “minority of people” in the United States.
Mr. Perez, who has chaired the DNC since 2017, said Mr. Trump is intent on dividing the nation along racial lines, and Democrats are reaching out to voters who are fed up with that sort of behavior.
“Those voters, I think, are his hardcore base, and so those are not the voters we are focused on,” Mr. Perez said on CNN, alluding to the recent rally chants. “We are focused on the rest of America because those voters reflect a minority of people in America.”
Mr. Trump has dominated the headlines since he took aim at four liberal women of color on the House, known as “The Squad,” saying they should “go back” to their home countries.
The comments sparked outrage from Democrats who called the comments racist and xenophobic, and pointed out that three of the women were born in the United States.
When Mr. Trump mentioned Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, the only one of the women born outside the United States who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, at a campaign rally Wednesday in North Carolina, his supporters started chanting “send her back.”
Mr. Perez said Mr. Trump’s attacks are designed to distract away from his administration’s failures.
He predicted voters will see through that in 2020 just as they did in 2018 when Democrats flipped control of the House after Mr. Trump repeatedly warned voters about the threat of migrant caravans approaching the United States border.
“This is conduct unbecoming a president,” Mr. Perez said, arguing that voters are looking for the answer to the question, “Who has my back?”
“And what they’ve seen over the course of this presidency [is] this president has a knife in their back,” he said. “Democrats have their back on the key issues and that is what is so important to the American people.”
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