Secretary of Labor Tom Perez was in South Carolina today campaigning for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and rallying Latino voters. He told Fusion’s Jorge Ramos via satellite that he was in the Palmetto State—and speaking with Ramos—in his “personal capacity,” and joked that he would return to being Labor Secretary once home later this evening.
South Carolina is the next battleground for the Democratic nomination, and following the haze in Nevada around the true victor among Latino voters, a clear outcome with that demographic will be key for the candidates.
But Perez isn’t worried about Clinton’s standing with Latinos (and doesn’t think Senator Sanders won their vote in Nevada, as some reported).
“I’m confident in Secretary Clinton’s capacity to win Latino voters because her message resonates with Latino voters,” he told Ramos. “She’s a dreamer and doer.”
Perez, who previously served as Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department, was also confident that Clinton would be able to address immigration reform in her first 100 days in office—as recently promised—because of its economic, national security, and moral implications. For Republicans, however, Perez cited a different incentive to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
“For Republicans after this November, there’s a political imperative,” Perez said. “Because if you want to be the permanent minority in the executive branch, keep saying stupid things that the Donald Trump’s of the world are saying day in and day out.”
Ramos asked Perez what he thought about Mother Jones calling him a “dream candidate” for Obama’s Supreme Court Nomination.
“I’m focused on helping people get good jobs that pay a middle class wage and when I’m on my personal time I’m focused on helping Hillary Clinton become the next president of the United States.”
Watch the full interview below: