WATCH: DNC Chair Tom Perez Discusses President George H.W. Bush & Democratic Midterm Gains

DNC Chair Tom Perez joined MSNBC’s Morning Joe today to pay tribute to former President George H.W. Bush, and to discuss the Democratic Party’s agenda and our strategy that led to historic victories in the midterm elections.


WATCH: George H.W. Bush “put country above [himself].”


Chair Perez: “My first job in federal service was a career prosecutor in 1989 when he was the president of the United States and I was honored to work there.”


Chair Perez: “He voted for the Fair Housing Act, he signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, he understood that politics was not a zero-sum game. If people with disabilities succeed, America succeeds. If we open up housing, that’s good for everybody and that’s why when you have leaders who put country above themselves and understand the office is far better — is far greater than themselves — that’s what leadership is about.”


WATCH: “The key to 2018 was organizing early and organizing everywhere.”


Chair Perez: “I think last year Virginia and New Jersey taught us that we could win again, and then Alabama taught us that we could win everywhere. And the key to 2018 was organizing early and organizing everywhere because that’s exactly what happened this year. I really tip my cap to Ben Ray Lujan at the DCCC, worked tirelessly, and Leader Pelosi who worked tirelessly, and we talk a lot about Congress, Joe and Mika, but I am equally excited about what happened in state legislatures, in state governments, the DLCC did spectacular work. Our partners across the ecosystem – that was a big difference this year. All too frequently, Democrats have a habit of bowling alone. This cycle, there was a unity of purpose. We were organizing everywhere. You talk about Latino voters, and Latino Decisions, who is a very remarkable and reputable polling firm looked at it both before and after and Latinos did come out in force. And they came out in force because we led with our values. We’re fighting for opportunity for everyone, we are fighting to make sure that you’re protected from getting your health care taken away because you have a pre-existing condition, we are fighting to lower the cost of prescription drugs, we are going to fight for an infrastructure bill that will actually put people to work. You know, Nancy Pelosi has always been, like Ted Kennedy, a leading person in the accomplishments wing of the Democratic Party. She knows how to get things done. I think the American people were sick and tired of leaders in Washington, the culture of corruption that had just overtaken Washington, and across the country in states, the last time Democrats won – flipped seven gubernatorial seats in one cycle was something like 40 years ago. That’s a big deal, and that is going to enable us in the next redistricting cycle to level the playing field. And that is so critically important. So we won in a nutshell because we organized early, we organized everywhere, we fielded really good candidates who were good listeners, who fought for the issues that people cared about.”