When speaking about Democratic candidates running for the presidency in 2020, Congressman Tim Ryan’s name doesn’t usually rise to the top but he is undoubtedly looking to change that by telling Americans that they deserve to be paid “$30, $40, $50 bucks an hour.”
The Ohio Congressman made the comment during an interview on “This Week” with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos.
“We’ve got to stop talking about the minimums, we got to figure out how we create an economy in health care, in energy, within manufacturing, where people can make $30, $40, $50 bucks an hour, that’s the American dream,” Ryan said via ABC News.
During the interview, Ryan said he would look to challenge Trump on the economy—an economy that has witnessed historic unemployment and all-time highs on the stock market.
Check it out, via ABC News:
Ryan said during his announcement that he’s running because of the economic challenges facing the industrial Midwest, specifically the closure of a General Motors factory in his district late last year.
He said that while Americans overall may have a positive view of the economy under President Trump, the view on the ground in his district paints a different reality.
“Right now most polls show that a majority of the country believe the economy is doing well and giving President Trump some credit. So this the best ground to challenge him on?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“Well, it’s not doing well where I come from, and it’s not doing well in a lot of places around the country,” Ryan responded. “You know, we talk about increasing the minimum wage, George. People used to make $30, $40 bucks an hour. Yeah, the unemployment rate’s low; people are working, you know, one, two, three jobs to try to make ends meet.”
According to the report, Ryan was first elected to Congress in 2003 and rose to prominence when he contested Nancy Pelosi to be the House Minority Speaker in 2016.
Ohio reports Ryan ultimately voted in favor of Pelosi and that the entire situation may come back to haunt him:
Paul Beck, a political science professor emeritus from The Ohio State University, said while Ryan is not known for “major legislation,” “what he is notable for is for opposing Pelosi, which is not going to endear him with his Democratic colleagues or with people who are donors to Democratic campaigns.”
Ryan is more moderate than Pelosi and much more so than the new branch of Democratic socialist members but he has failed to get financial backing behind his ideas.
Ohio reports Ryan’s campaign ended last year with only $118,195—hardly a drop in the bucket of his fellow 2020 Democratic contenders and nothing next to President Trump’s $140 million.
During the Sunday interview, Ryan said he supports “Medicare for All,” but assured that there is also a need for private health insurance. Some of his Democratic counterparts have suggested scrapping private insurance altogether.
Here’s more from the Sunday interview, from ABC News:
Ryan has previously called the “Green New Deal” proposal a “values statement,” but also said that he wanted greener energy and automotive sectors to drive the economy in the future.
“Take electric vehicles for example,” he said. “We’ve made one to 2 million electric vehicles today. There’s going to be 30 million made by 2030. Who’s going to make them? I want those made in the United States, George. I want the batteries made in the United States, I want the charging stations made in the United States.”
Ryan is unabashedly pro-business in a field of candidates that has largely rejected support from big corporations. Several weeks ago, Ryan told a New Hampshire radio station that Democrats “come off sometimes as hostile to business.”
“We need to sit down with the business community,” he said Sunday. “We need to sit down with the educational community and use the tax code and figure out how we rebuild the industrial base in the United States.”