Ohio Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan, who is challenging Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for her leadership post, said identity politics are not helping his party during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.
Ryan said Democrats have been overly reliant on targeting certain demographics, something which is further dividing the country.
“I think, in part, we try to slice the electorate up. And we try to say, ‘You’re black, you’re brown, you’re gay, you’re straight, you’re a woman, you’re a man.'” he said. “The reality of it is there’s no juice in that kind of campaign. There’s no energy in that because it’s divided.”
Ryan reiterated his belief the party needs to listen to the message the voters sent on election day.
“The reality of it is our message has been wrong,” he continued. “But we can’t keep saying, ‘Oh, we got the message wrong, and so please forgive us.’ We’ve been getting the message wrong since 2010. We’ve got to get the message right. We’ve got to have the right messenger. And we’ve got to have someone who can not just go on MSNBC, but go on Fox and Fox Business and CNBC, and go into union halls and fish frys and churches all over the country and start a brush fire about what a new Democratic Party looks like.”
Pelosi pushed back leadership elections after being encouraged to do so by her colleagues, citing the party’s need to reflect on what went wrong during the election. Ryan formally announced his bid soon after, saying Democrats “will continue to go downhill” if current leadership stays in place.
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