Tags: Democrats 2016 | Tim Ryan | Apology

Ryan Left Red-Faced After His Red Wine Comment

By    |   Friday, 02 Dec 2016 03:08 PM

Rep. Tim Ryan, who lost his bid to unseat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi earlier this week, Friday apologized for using the term "dago red wine" while talking with MSNBC's Chris Matthews about the class differences between members of his party.

"You can still maintain a level of pragmatism even though you may drink, not dago red wine in Youngstown, but some kind of fancy Napa Valley wine," the Ohio Democrat told Matthews on Wednesday night, reports The Cleveland Plain Dealer. "You can still understand what's going on in those people's lives."

Matthews tried to correct him, telling Ryan that he wouldn't use the phrase very often, even though he knows it means "the cheap stuff."

"That's what we call it in Youngstown, Chris," Ryan responded, speaking of his hometown.

His phrase offended several watchers, particularly on Twitter, and on Friday, the lawmaker apologized in a statement for the Hardball statement, noting that he is a "proud Italian American, raised by an Italian mother and Italian grandparents."

"Growing up our Italian neighbors and my family made homemade wine, which was — and still commonly is — affectionately referred to by that name," Ryan said. "Rest assured I meant no offense by my comments and have the deepest pride and respect for my Italian heritage. The Italian culture and values have significantly shaped who I am, and I would never intentionally demean or degrade the very culture that has been so integral to my life."

Further, Ryan said he knows from the stories from his grandparents and great-grandparents that Italian-Americans faced "real struggles and discrimination" when they came to the United States.

"It pains me to think I may have somehow hurt my fellow Italians by my remark," said Ryan. "Please accept my deepest apology and know that I will always try to best reflect the values of our heritage."

Ryan, appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, did not speak about the wine comment, but instead talked about the ongoing changes in the Democratic Party.

"We have to figure out a way to vertically integrate the DNC with the Democratic Senate Committee and the Democratic House Committee and the state parties so that we're not all moving in different directions," said Ryan. "We're all growing in the same direction. We have to figure out a way to vertically integrate all of these different parts of our system."

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Rep. Tim Ryan, who lost his bid to unseat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi earlier this week, Friday apologized for using the term "dago red wine" while talking with MSNBC's Chris Matthews about the class differences between members of his party....
Tim Ryan, Apology
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2016-08-02
Friday, 02 Dec 2016 03:08 PM
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