Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez on Tuesday defended his party’s mostly virtual convention this week by invoking Herman Cain, the 2012 GOP presidential candidate who died last month after contracting COVID-19.
“Tulsa, Oklahoma — was that a good model for how people should conduct themselves? Ask the family of Herman Cain,” Mr. Perez said at a Politico event.
Cain attended the president’s June 20 rally in Tulsa and had been undergoing oxygen treatment after he was hospitalized for the coronavirus in early July.
President Trump said he didn’t think Cain, who was 74, caught the virus from his rally.
Mr. Perez and Democratic National Convention CEO Joe Solmonese had been asked about the travel schedule of Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence this week, which includes in-person stops in Wisconsin.
An in-person Democratic convention was originally slated to take place in Milwaukee before the coronavirus pandemic upended those plans.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden is steering clear and will deliver his convention acceptance speech from Delaware on Thursday.
“I often say that Donald Trump needs the roar of a crowd to remind him that he’s in charge and we’re working for a guy who was born to be in charge and I think that that’s what we’re seeing this week,” Mr. Solmonese said.
He said Mr. Trump is pulling a “political stunt” by showing up in person and attracting crowds.
“We’re going to continue to have a thoughtful and impactful conversation with the American people and one that I think last night demonstrated is off to a great start,” Mr. Solmonese said.