Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez may have forgotten some key moment’s in his party’s political history when he touted the Democratic Party’s record on civil rights.
Perez appeared on “Fox News Sunday” to debrief with host Chris Wallace about the first round of Democratic presidential primary debates that took place on Wednesday and Thursday.
As IJR previously reported, Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden has faced a lot of backlash from his party over the past few weeks for his insensitive comments about his work with segregationists and for his opposition to bussing programs that would integrate schools.
During his interview, Perez tried to come to Biden’s defense on the issue of race by pointing to Biden’s other work that boosted civil rights in America. However, in the process of touting Biden’s record, he accidentally called on viewers to look at the “Democratic Party’s overall record on civil rights,” as well.
Watch Perez’s interview:
“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.”
Unfortunately for Perez, the Democratic Party’s record on civil rights is clear.
The Democratic Party was the party of slave owners and segregationists — and that wasn’t just in the late 1800s. In fact, part of the reason 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 issue of civil rights, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed with a larger percentage of Republicans voting for the measure than Democrats. Only 60 percent of Democrats 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 percent of Democrats vote in favor of the measure compared to 84 percent of Republicans. Republicans outpaced Democrat in support for the Civil Rights Acts of 1960 and 1968, as well.
Perez must have 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,” Perez said. “It’s the Democratic Party that’s fighting to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to realize the American Dream.”