Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan continued his call for leadership change inside the Democratic party during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.
“The reality is the reality,” Ryan told NBC’s Chuck Todd. “We have to go into 2018 with a leader who has been damaged,” he said, referring to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Ryan unsuccessfully challenged Pelosi for the leadership post at the beginning of the year. He has long argued that Democrats must return to an economic message that appeals to working class voters and marginalized groups. The special election loss in Georgia was the latest example of how the current Democratic party leadership threatens the future of the party.
Republican Karen Handel defeated the well-funded Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff in a closely watched special Congressional election in Georgia. (RELATED: After Ossoff Defeat, Dems Begin To Rethink 2018)
Todd suggested that Republicans were victorious, in part, because they were successfully able to tie Ossoff to Democratic party leaders like Pelosi. Ryan agreed “I think it would be hard for us to say that, after $5 million being spent tying that candidate [Ossoff] to her, that it didn’t have some effect,” Ryan admitted. “The Republican’s wouldn’t still be using this if it didn’t have some effect.”
Ryan said that the reality of the situation is unfair, and that it’s not Pelosi’s fault.
“They’ve spent, I would say, hundreds of millions of dollars against her,” Ryan said. “We’re talking about health care for everybody today because of the work she has done and so this is completely unfair.”
Michigan Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell joined Ryan on “Meet the Press,” defending Pelosi and asserting that Democrats can flip up to 80 seats in 2018.
Ryan said that the Democratic party’s base are all people who are marginalized.
“If you’re a marginalized citizen in any way, shape or form the Democratic party is the party for you, and that means economically marginalized as well,” Ryan said. “I don’t care about color, man, woman, black, white, brown, gay, straight, we should be working for all of those groups and their economic interests.”
The Democratic party must find a way to bring together a coalition that includes San Francisco liberals with working class union households in America’s rust belt. Trump was able to win the 2016 election by appealing to working class voters in states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
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