Sanders, Perez plan cross-country tour
© Getty Images

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate Ben & Jerry’s co-founders announce effort to help 7 Dem House challengers Dems look to Gillum, Abrams for pathway to victory in tough states MORE (I-Vt.) will join Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez in a cross-country outreach tour to states Democrats lost in 2016. 

The trip will begin in Maine in mid-April and will reach several states, including Kentucky, Florida, Nevada and Arizona, according to The Washington Post.

“This is part of our effort to revitalize the Democratic Party, to turn it into a grassroots party — to tell people that Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE’s agenda is not what he promised them,” Sanders told the Post.

“On issue after issue, he’s turned his back on working people and sided with the millionaire class.”


The trip comes after a contentious race to lead the DNC. Perez — who was considered the "establishment" choice because he worked in the Obama administration as Labor secretary and had close ties to presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate Heller embraces Trump in risky attempt to survive in November Live coverage: Cruz, O'Rourke clash in Texas debate MORE — defeated Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who had the backing of progressives like Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenMore Massachusetts Voters Prefer Deval Patrick for President than Elizabeth Warren Trump's trade war — firing all cannons or closing the portholes? Poll: Most Massachusetts voters don't think Warren should run for president in 2020 MORE (D-Mass.). 

"During that campaign, Tom said that the Democratic Party had to be refocused, had to be rebuilt, and I trust that he will keep those promises," Sanders said. "The fact that he’s prepared to travel with me around the country and pick up half the cost of this is a positive sign."

Sanders and Perez will use the trip to drum up Democratic enthusiasm for special and midterm elections on the horizon. One such success story so far is Democrat Jon Ossoff raising an unprecedented $8 million for a House special election race in Georgia as he tries to flip a seat long held by Republicans.

“We’ve talked a lot about the need to compete everywhere, and when we talked about a 57-state-and-territory strategy, we meant it,” Perez said.

When the GOP had control of the White House and both chambers of Congress heading into the 2006 elections, Democrats famously used then-DNC Chairman Howard Dean's "50-state strategy" to surge to control of both chambers before winning back the White House two years later.