DNC chairman: Dems ‘have to have an every-ZIP-code strategy’

DNC chairman: Dems ‘have to have an every-ZIP-code strategy’
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Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE said Thursday that Democrats should have an "every-ZIP-code strategy" going forward.

Responding to a question from MSNBC's Chuck Todd about whether the party has a messaging and branding problem, Perez said the party needs to fight across the country. 

"We have to have an every-ZIP-code strategy, and that's what we're doing, and we have to lead with our values," Perez said.

He noted that Democrats had won two legislative seats in Oklahoma this week, arguing they had done so because those candidates "led with their values." 

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"I think we have real opportunity everywhere, and what we have to do is scale these success stories of recent months," he added. 

The two victories by Democrats in Oklahoma came as the GOP-controlled state government has been dealing with a series of controversies.

Still, Democrats took the victories as a sign that they can compete even in ruby-red states.

Perez pointed to healthcare as a key issue for Democrats in 2018, saying it is "tragic" that the president and Republican-controlled Congress are targeting Medicaid in their efforts on healthcare reform. 

Democrats discussing how to win back the House in next year's midterms have debated what kind of candidates to back, and whether they should compete in every district. Such debates have taken place within the party for decades, including when former DNC Chairman Howard Dean advocated for a 50-state strategy in the mid-2000s. 

Todd asked if Perez wanted the party to be as Dean had envisioned it, to be "for the guy who drives a pickup truck with a Confederate flag in the corner of the window, and a gun rack." 

"I want the party to be for the working person," Perez said. 

"Whatever pickup truck you drive, whatever place of worship where you go or don't go, I want to make sure that that person can make his or her life and their family's lives better," said Perez. "And that's what the Democrats have been doing."