Obama’s Labor Secretary Addresses Vice Presidential Rumors

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

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Labor Secretary Thomas Perez played down rumors Saturday that he might be a possible vice presidential pick for presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Perez has led the Department of Labor since he was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2013. He has been a vocal supporter of the Fight for $15 movement and an avid opponent of right-to-work legislation. Perez noted he has much to focus on with his current job when asked about rumors Clinton could pick him as her running mate.

“I honestly don’t give a thought for the following reason,” Perez told The Washington Post. “I’ve got so much going on in my day job. And I’ve been around politics enough to know all the swirl that’s fit to print, and so I focus on the reality of the here and now.”

Perez added that the political focus should currently be on Clinton — not himself. The former secretary of state won enough delegate support to secure the nomination June 6 over her primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders. She was able to win support from Perez and other key Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, along with national unions. Perez also denounced Republican nominee Donald Trump and the Tea Party Saturday.

“Discrimination is not a national defense strategy” Perez continued. “The tea party is holding the Republican Party hostage, and I’m hopeful that the dam is going to break after this election.”

Many view Trump as an outsider of the Washington D.C. establishment, and many Tea Party favorites also won support for being outsider candidates. The business mogul has been accused by critics of discrimination and even racism for his stance on immigration policies. He has called for more border security and a temporary ban on Muslims from countries known to harbor terrorists.

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