Rep. Tim Ryan Brings U.S. Senate Campaign to Cadiz
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan came to Cadiz Wednesday afternoon as part of a campaign tour with his sights set on the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Rob Portman.
Ryan, D-Ohio, also was scheduled to speak in Monroe County and a few other locations. Portman announced he will not seek re-election in November.
Ryan appealed to the blue collar community, citing his own family’s experience in the steel and auto industries.
“We’re going to go to the communities that have been left behind,” he said, referring to the collapse of the American steel industry and a reason he first entered politics seeking an Ohio Senate seat.
He said the working class are the people who lost their pensions, jobs and benefits.
“One strong voice,” he told the group of mostly United Mine Workers of America union supporters on the ground floor of the Puskarich Library. He said a push for working class people could tip the balance in a Senate he called 50-50.
“And I want to be that voice for you,” he said. “Because I believe that if you send me to the United States Senate, it’s an opportunity for us to hit the reset button for the Democratic Party, to get us back on an economic message.”
He spoke of the messages of each major party, saying the Republicans are the party of the rich while the Democrats represent the workers’ interests. He said he’s taken on members of both parties in the past and will continue to do so.
“I fight for what I think is right,” he said.
But he described America’s economic system as “broken.” He said what he wants for the working people is what they have earned, not a handout. He termed the economic system “brutally unfair,” citing the example of CEOs seeing a 1,300% increase in their wages going back to the 1970s while saying working class wages have been “flat.”
“Where’s the quality of life?” he asked. “And I want to get this government back on the side of working class people, and I”m not going to apologize for this.”
Ryan then moved to the issue of China and its global competitiveness with high-speed rails and other infrastructure projects.
“Every year China puts 7 to 9 percent of their GDP (gross domestic product) back into their public infrastructure,” Ryan said. “High-speed rails that go 300 miles an hour (and) they built islands in the South China Sea.”
Ryan continued to juxtapose China and the U.S., pointing to China’s building of bases on those islands, a rail line from Rotterdam in The Netherlands to Beijing, as well as signing long-term raw materials contracts in Africa that will benefit production computers, phones and weapons systems.
“So we’re in direct competition now with a country who has a 10-year plan, a 30-year plan, a 50-year plan, a hundred-year plan,” Ryan told the audience. “And you come to the United States and we’re locked in a 24-hour news cycle, having conversations about dumb stuff like Dr. Suess and Big Bird and any kind of issue that’ll just divide us up.”
Several in the audience nodded their heads in agreement.
Ryan said the middle class in the United States has eroded over time.
“And so this is about rebuilding the country,” Ryan continued.
When asked how America can rid itself of the zero-sum game that both parties have exposed, he said one way was the recent passing of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.
“That was bipartisan,” he said, where 20 Republicans in the senate voted in favor and he felt that was a step in the right direction.
“If you’re against this,” he said of the bill, “you have taken a very extreme ideological position that put your own political fortunes ahead of what’s in the best interest of your community.”