New Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez on Friday night said President Trump “didn’t win the election” and suggested his Republican Party doesn’t care about voters.
The comments by Perez, Labor secretary under President Obama, appear to leave little doubt about the direction in which he will try to take the struggling committee.
“Donald Trump, you don’t stand for our values. You didn’t win this election,” Perez said at the rally hosted by the New Jersey Working Families Alliance, according to a video posted by The Daily Caller.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel later slammed Perez’s comments, saying they are "dangerous and undermine our democratic process,”
“Perhaps Mr. Perez needs a lesson on how the Electoral College works. But whether he likes it or not, Donald Trump is our president," McDaniel also said. "He should be ashamed of himself for insulting the millions of Americans who don’t share his liberal vision for our country."
Washington Democrats have since 2010 lost control of the House, then the Senate and the White House in 2016.
The defeat last year of frontrunner Hillary Clinton was an especially tough loss, considering hacked emails revealed that committee leaders tried to give Clinton the edge over primary challengers. And committee Chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, resigned in the aftermath.
Perez spoke Friday in Newark, New Jersey, ahead of the state’s gubernatorial election in November, and thanked attendees for participating in the worldwide protests after Trump took office in January.
"We have a bully in Washington in the White House," he also said, according to several news reports.
Perez was elected by Democrats in February, in a close race with Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress.
The contest was considered one between a progressive and an establishment candidate in Perez and raised concerns about whether either could reconnect with disaffected, Middle America loyalists who this time voted for Trump.