Democratic VP possibilities are dropping like flies lately. There was Julian Castro, and then he faded. There was Tim Kaine, and he turned out to be just slightly less “tawdry” than Bob McDonnell. Now comes Maryland’s own Tom Perez, whose main pluses were (a) being progressive and palatable to the Sanders wing of the party, (b) being strong with labor, (c) being Hispanic, and (d) being a longtime Hillary Clinton loyalist.
Today he went on Meet the Press and blew holes in three of his four talking points. Hint: he’s still Hispanic.
Labor Secretary Tom Perez, a potential Democratic vice presidential pick, isn’t backing down from his support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the trade deal opposed by Hillary Clinton.
The debate over trade has roiled the Democratic Party, with President Barack Obama and many congressional leaders supporting the agreement and both Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders opposing it. The position is a reversal of sorts for Clinton, who has traditionally supported trade deals and spoke favorably of the TPP when she was secretary of state.
Perez said the trade deal does more to protect American workers and the middle class than any prior deal.
“Absolutely,” Perez said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday when asked whether he supports the trade deal. “Absolutely what we have done in the negotiations with Mexico and with Vietnam are I think some of the most far-reaching protections that we’ve seen in a labor agreement. And that’s the work that I have done and I’m proud of that work we’ve done.”
There goes labor, there goes Sanders progressives, and there goes staying on Clinton messaging. Moving on. . . .