Is The Tom Perez Fight Worth Having?

Republicans have mounted another high profile political battle, this time by opposing Tom Perez, President Barack Obama's pick for the Department of Labor Secretary. A committee vote planned for Wednesday afternoon was postponed at the last minute, forcing the vote to be rescheduled for May 16.

Conservatives who oppose Perez cite concerns about his fitness for the office, due in part to accusations levied against him during his time leading the civil rights division in the Justice Department.

But while Republicans may have legitimate reasons to question Perez's nomination, they risk furthering the stereotype that they are anti-Hispanic.

"In a lot of ways we could argue that Perez stands as the antithesis of the views of the GOP, but this has the potential for bad optics – at a time when Republicans need to garner a greater share of the Hispanic vote," says Ford O'Connell, a Republican political strategist who worked on the McCain-Palin campaign in 2008.

O'Connell says Republicans should scrutinize Perez, but not go overboard with their review.

"They should certainly scrutinize his credentials and qualifications and if they don't find a red herring, they should let him proceed to confirmation," he says, adding that the GOP is clearly aware of the potential for bad optics since Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., an African-American, has taken the lead in criticizing Perez.

Read more from Rebekah Metzler at U.S. News & World Report

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Analysis & Political Strategy