'I'm mad as hell': DNC chair says conversation will be had on Iowa's first in the nation status

Danielle Gehr
Des Moines Register
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Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez answered affirmatively when asked if he takes responsibility for Iowa caucus issues — but when asked if he would resign, he said, "absolutely not."

Perez spoke with CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union," following criticisms of the Iowa caucus and a call for his resignation after results were delayed and included errors.

"Jake, look at the last three years. My job, when I came in, was to rebuild our infrastructure, to win elections," Perez said. "We have been winning elections in 2017, 2018, 2019 … We are better positioned to hand our nominee an infrastructure for success than ever before.”

The Iowa Democratic Party announced Saturday it will review 95 precinct results per the request of the campaigns. State party officials have yet to declare a winner of the Democratic caucuses, which seemed to break down Monday night after new technology and incorrect results created delays.

►Update: Pete Buttigieg wins another delegate to widen lead over Bernie Sanders in new IDP tally

The IDP and DNC have faced criticisms following the caucus. U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, called for Perez to step down, saying a "lack of leadership" led to the election issues, the Hill reported.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez speaks to the audience ahead of the Democratic presidential primary debate at Loyola Marymount University on Dec. 19, 2019 in Los Angeles.

Some say the mistakes jeopardized Iowa's first-in-the-nation status.

In addition to superdelegate reform, the DNC incentivized caucus states to change to primaries in 2016. Seven of the 14 caucus states made the change.

Perez told Tapper there will be conversations over Iowa's caucus and first-in-the-nation status at the end of this election cycle.

"I'm frustrated. I'm mad as hell. Everybody is," Perez said. "And I think what we're going to do at the end of this cycle ... is have a further conversation about whether or not state parties should be running elections."

Perez said he believes people can absolutely trust the Iowa results.

"Having said that, we should not have problems. ... This was unacceptable," Perez told Tapper.

Danielle Gehr is a breaking news reporter at the Des Moines Register. She can be reached by email at dgehr@dmreg.com, by phone at 515-284-8367 or on Twitter at @Dani_Gehr.

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