Ex-Iowa Congressman Who Planned Democratic Caucuses Calls DNC Chair Tom Perez 'Pontius Pilate,' Blames Him for 'Mess'

A former Iowa congressman involved with planning the state's 2020 caucuses has reportedly started referring to the Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez by the nickname "Pontius Pilate."

Ex-Democratic Rep. Dave Nagle has pinned the blame for the chaotic Iowa Democratic caucus on Perez, and nicknamed the DNC chairman after the Roman governor who ordered the crucifixion of Jesus in the Bible, The Washington Post reported.

Nagle told the newspaper that the state party had been "bushwhacked by a bad system" as uncertainty still surrounded the caucus results, adding that local Democrats were "trying to clean up."

"Ultimately this is the national chairman's mess. He is the one who asked us to do it," he said. "We tried to do it. We got bushwhacked by a bad system, and now we are trying to clean up."

DNC Chair Tom Perez in Los Angeles
Tom Perez speaks to the audience ahead of the final Democratic presidential primary debate of 2019 in Los Angeles, California Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Washington Post also reported that Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price and Perez were privately shifting blame onto one another for the Iowa caucus chaos that has led to calls for a recanvass.

Newsweek has attempted to contact Nagle for confirmation of whether or not he was involved with Iowa caucus planning this year, or had ever referred to Perez as "Pontius Pilate."

The Democratic National Committee and Iowa Democrats have also been contacted for comment. This article will be updated with any response.

In an interview with the Post on Sunday, Perez said he was not the "boss" of Iowa Democratic Party chairman Troy Price, arguing that it was not the DNC's responsibility to "micromanage every element of the administration of elections."

Speaking to Jake Tapper on CNN yesterday, the DNC chairman said: "Iowa chose to keep their caucus status, and I think what we learned from all the mistakes that were made- it's undeniably unacceptable.

"I'm frustrated. I'm mad as hell. Everybody is." Asked if he considered resigning in the wake of the Iowa caucus fiasco, Perez replied: "Absolutely not."

The DNC chairman called for a recanvass of the Iowa caucuses last week after technical problems amid the Monday contest caused a severe delay in the release of results and concerns about their accuracy.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign has also pushed for a partial recanvass of the Iowa caucus after the state's Democratic party released results on Sunday that put former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg ahead of Sanders by just two delegates.

Several news outlets have also withheld from calling a winner in the race over uncertainties about the result and the possibility it could still change a week after the caucus took place.

The Iowa Democratic Party said on Saturday that it was reviewing results from 95 precincts, or five percent of the total, after inconsistencies were reported.