DNC chair candidates square off in CNN debate, days before election

Tom Perez, leading candidate for DNC chairman
(Image credit: CNN/YouTube)

On Wednesday night, the eight leading candidates for Democratic National Committee chair gathered for a CNN debate, days before Democratic officials and activists make their choice at the end of a three-day party meeting in Atlanta that begins Thursday. The candidates, led by former Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), aimed most of their fire at President Trump, though they disagreed on how trenchantly to oppose him, as well as how to heal Democratic divisions lingering from the Hillary Clinton-Bernie Sanders primary fight last year.

Trump's actions already "legitimately raise the question of impeachment," Ellison said, arguing that the president has already violated the Constitution. Perez said Trump "wants to turn the clock back, and the Democratic Party needs to take the fight to Donald Trump," leading with Democratic values and convictions. Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said Trump is a "computer virus in the American political system" that Democrats have to fight, "but we can't let him dominate our imagination, because it's our values and our candidates that matter." You can watch a 90-second recap of the debate below.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.