Tulsi Gabbard calls for DNC Chairman Tom Perez to resign following Iowa debacle

Tulsi Gabbard calls for DNC Chairman Tom Perez to resign following Iowa debacle

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — Tulsi Gabbard called on Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez to resign following Iowa’s disastrous delay in reporting results from the Iowa caucuses.

“Ultimately, this is a failure of leadership, and I think the DNC chair, Tom Perez, should resign,” the Hawaii congresswoman, 38, told WMUR on Sunday.

“It’s both because of what we’ve seen happen in Iowa, but also over the last several months, the growing skepticism that I hear from Democrat voters that this primary will be carried out in a fair way where voters can get the information that they need to make the best choice in who should be our Democratic nominee, and ultimately who should be our next president and commander in chief,” she added.

Perez has been walking on thin ice following last week’s Iowa Democratic caucuses. An app meant to report results from precincts to party headquarters had coding errors, and official results reveal obvious inconsistencies in vote totals and state delegate equivalent allocation. While it is the state party, not the DNC, that runs the caucuses, some argue the national arm of the party should have done more to ensure timely and confident results.

Perez last week called for a recanvass of the Iowa results, but only campaigns can force that to happen. He has since said he is “absolutely not” considering stepping down from his position.

Gabbard also subtly criticized the DNC for debate qualifying metrics based on fundraising and poll numbers that kept her off debate stages.

“It points to the DNC, as I’ve said for a long time, unfortunately trying to hold their own pre-primary process before any voters have actually had the ability to cast their vote,” Gabbard said. “I saw a statement leading up to Iowa saying, ‘Hey, we have been preparing for this moment for three years, we are ready, this is going to be great.’ And yet, we’re days after Iowa, still, and we’re seeing that’s actually not the case.”

Gabbard, who is polling at 3.3% in the RealClearPolitics average of New Hampshire polls ahead of the state’s Feb. 11 primary and did not seriously campaign in Iowa before the caucuses, is known for being a vocal critic of the Democratic party establishment. In the 2016 cycle, she resigned as vice-chairwoman of the DNC in order to endorse Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Last month, she filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton over what appeared to be an implication that Gabbard was a “Russian asset.”

“I think the biggest disservice of everything that has gone on in Iowa has been to Iowa voters, people who took their time to go in and cast their votes so that their voices would be heard, both in Iowa and across the country, and still as we sit here today, there are questions being called into the tallies of certain places across Iowa,” Gabbard said Sunday.

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