Iowa Democratic Party chairman ‘disappointed’ by Perez’s caucus criticism
Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price said on Monday that he was “disappointed” by Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez’s remarks placing the brunt of the blame on the state party for the chaos that has unfolded around the Iowa caucuses.
“Obviously I was very disappointed by the chairman’s comments,” Price told reporters at a press conference after he was asked whether Perez had thrown him and the Iowa Democratic Party “under the bus.” “You know this has been a full partnership with the DNC this entire time.”
“What I will say is we’ve got a job to do and that is to finish up this process,” he continued. “There’s going to be a time to assign blame, but I will tell you the DNC has been a partner in this process up to, including and after caucus night.”
Price’s remarks came a week after technical difficulties and reporting errors delayed the results of the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, stirring concerns about the accuracy of the vote and frustrating campaign aides and political operatives who had hoped that the caucuses would provide clarity to a fluid presidential race.
Perez has largely kept the caucuses at arm’s length since the debacle began last week, though he has called for the state party to begin an official recanvass. In an interview on CNN last week, the DNC chairman said that it was the state party that was responsible for the issues that unfolded around the caucuses.
“The Iowa Democratic Party runs the caucus, OK?” Perez said. “And they — what happened was unacceptable. At the same time we came in there — you know, this was unacceptable. That’s why we had people, we still have people on the ground there.”
The DNC has argued against the notion that Perez had left Price and the Iowa Democratic Party to shoulder the blame, noting that the national committee provided staff and resources to assist the state party.
Still, Perez has faced criticism from some in his party over his handling of the caucuses. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who’s running a long shot bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, called on Sunday for the DNC chairman to step down.
Price noted multiple times on Monday that the DNC was a partner to the Iowa Democratic Party in the caucus process, though he did not directly criticize the committee.
“The DNC was a partner with us throughout this entire process and we had trust in that partnership,” Price said. “Beyond that, I’m focused on making sure we bring these results to completion.”