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Rep. Tim Ryan: 'Toxic' Democratic Party Has No Clear Economic Message

(MSNBC'S "Morning Joe")

By    |   Thursday, 22 Jun 2017 07:59 AM

The Democratic Party does not have a clear economic message, and while social issues are important, it's the economy that will tie the party together nationally, Rep. Tim Ryan said Thursday.

"When I was growing up, and you'd ask my grandfather, my grandmother, you know, why are we Democrats, and it was the Democrats who are for working-class people," the Ohio Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "We've lost that message. We are for so many people and we are for so many very, very important issues that I'm for...but we all want an opportunity to grab the next rung in the economic ladder."

However, many people, including business owners, don't look to Democrats for answers on economic growth.

Ryan mounted a challenge last year to California Democrat Nancy Pelosi's House leadership, and following the losses of Jon Ossoff in Georgia's special election Tuesday and Archie Parnell in South Carolina's, he said he would have made a different push for them.

"I think a stealth ground game, a stealth get out the vote effort [was needed]," said Ryan of the Georgia race. "We have a strong African-American population in that congressional district, and we came in very late in that district to try to get the turnout. And I think if we would have put a few more resources, not even that many, but a few more, we would have been able to get the 3,000 votes."

In South Carolina, a little more money on the ground would have "definitely gotten us home," said Ryan. "We spent $20 million plus in Georgia and only a couple hundred thousand in South Carolina."

Meanwhile, Ryan said he does think it will be "very hard" for Democrats to win the House back under Pelosi.

"We can do it because it's [President] Donald Trump, but what if it was John Kasich or Marco Rubio?" the congressman said. "We would be in real trouble right now as a party, and we can't forget that fact."

It will be more challenging, though, he said.

"You see those commercials that tie these candidates to leader Pelosi week in and week out in the last several months, that still moves the needle, you know?" he said. "So, we're asking candidates in these deep, red districts to battle the Republican party. We've got a lot of energy in our base, which is very exciting for a lot of us to see that on the ground, but you've got to beat the Republican and you've got to carry this very toxic Democratic brand on your back, too. That's a tough thing to ask a candidate running for congress."

The Democratic Party also has suffered losses because of its disappearing union base, and there are more problems coming, said Ryan.

"Globalization was a huge challenge," he said. "Automation is even a bigger challenge coming down the pike. So, I feel like it's those rank and file Democratic union members that voted Democrat for a generation all of a sudden said 'you guys aren't really fixing my issue for me, you know, you're not making my life necessarily easier, you're not making things better.'"

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The Democratic Party does not have a clear economic message, and while social issues are important, it's the economy that will tie the party together nationally, Rep. Tim Ryan said Thursday.
tim ryan, ecnomonic, message, democratic, party
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2017-59-22
Thursday, 22 Jun 2017 07:59 AM
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