Wednesday on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” Rep. Tim Ryan, (D-OH), who lost his challenge earlier in the year to unseat Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as minority leader, said the perception that the Democratic Party has “forgotten the middle class” was real.
When asked about the Democratic Party being perceived as coastal elites, Ryan said, “It’s a true perception, and since November I’ve been trying to get the word out that this is real. This is something that is real. It is unfair because you can live on the coast and still be a working-class person and still embody the values of what the party should stand poor — stand for on economic grounds. The perception is because you are so concerned with the coasts and so concerned with raising money and Wall Street, you have forgotten the middle class. All the while, wages have been stagnant for 30 years. This perception is real.”
He continued, “If Democrats don’t recognize that every initiative we have needs to be about us reconnecting with the working-class people. That starts by going to where they live. I’m spending some time going to communities around the country where we haven’t gone. I went to South Carolina for the special election down there. I was one of the only members of Congress to go down there. I’m going to Kentucky and Indiana, Alabama, West Virginia. We need to show up and say we care about you. We understand what you are going through. Let me explain to you how our plan is different. Whether it’s, we want to help you afford health care, here is how we will do it. Republicans are trying to throw you off. That is just one issue. You’ve got to go there, look people in the eye. You’ve got to talk to them and listen and tell them you’re here to help.”
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