Towards the end of an otherwise friendly interview at Univision, DNC Chair Tom Perez was blindsided by a question for which he offered no real answer.
Watch Perez scoff as Univision anchor Patricia Janiot, filling in for Jorge Ramos on Sunday political affairs show Al Punto, asks point-blank whether the Democrats can compete with the Trump Administration’s record on Hispanic employment:
PATRICIA JANIOT, HOST, AL PUNTO: Mr. Perez, President Trump has achieved something important, especially for Latinos, which is to reduce the unemployment rate to historic lows. How, then, can the Democrats compete with a president that has been beneficial to Latinos on economic matters?
TOM PEREZ, CHAIR, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: The economic situation in the United States is excellent for the wealthy like Trump, but the economic situation is still bad for our community and that’s why we have to elect Democrats.
JANIOT: Many thanks, Mr. Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
If you listen closely, you can hear Perez scoff at the question.
Perez’ answer, taken at face value, is not only false given the clear economic criteria under upon the question is premised, but is also a tacit admission that perhaps Hispanics didn’t have it so great under the Obama administration. To suggest that the economy is somehow “still bad” for Hispanics, as Perez did here, is to affirm that it was bad for Hispanics before Trump took over. You can’t have one without the other, and that statement nullifies Perez’ proposed solution which is, of course, to vote for Democrats.
To be fair, this isn’t the first time that the Trump Administration’s economic success is brought up on Al Punto. However, when regular host Jorge Ramos raises the question, it’s usually framed within the context of asking whether Hispanics should vote pursuant to their economic self-interest or whether they are compelled to vote according to a sense of ethnic grievance (mainly triggered by concerns over immigration). Janiot, to her credit, doesn't bother with such framing and makes Perez blink before delivering an answer that reveals a gross sense of entitlement to the Hispanic vote.
U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, appearing last night on Axios, delivered an eloquent response to the notion that Hispanics (or any other ethnic minority) should vote based on anything other than their individual beliefs and personal economic self-interest:
U.S. REP. DAN CRENSHAW (R-TX): I just don't take it as a given that because you're non-white that we should worry about you voting Democrat. And I think Democrats do take that for granted. You know, that-- that's where that conversation comes from, this-- this idea that your immutable characteristic should drive how you think, which is-- I think there's a word for that. I think it's called "Racism," you know, and that's not a good thing to think.