Ryan Campaign Heads Down the Stretch

WARREN, Ohio – U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13, the Democratic Party nominee for the U.S. Senate, appealed to Ohio’s moderate voting bloc Friday and once again disavowed political extremism as the days tick down to the Nov. 8 election.

“We’ve got a great coalition of the exhausted majority of Democrats, Republicans and Independents who are tired of the extremism and want a moderate voice,” Ryan told local reporters on a campaign stop at the coke plant Cleveland-Cliffs operates here. “That’s me.”

As Ryan answered reporters’ questions outside the plant, more details were unfolding about an attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

An intruder entered the couple’s San Francisco home early Friday morning in search of the House Speaker, shouting, “Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?” He then assaulted Pelosi’s husband, Paul, with a hammer, police say.

Pelosi, 82, is hospitalized and is expected to recover from his injuries.

A suspect, David DePape, is in custody. As of this posting, a motive for the attack had not been determined.

Ryan told The Business Journal after the press event that he couldn’t comment on the attack as he had just learned about it.

The congressman, however, did tell reporters that his campaign has encountered a sense of exasperation from people who are “sick of the extremism. We’ve got to come together and meet in the middle, that’s how we’re going to heal the country.”

Ryan is locked in a tight race with Republican nominee J.D. Vance to fill outgoing Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s Ohio senate seat.

“We’ve forgotten how to talk like normal people about normal issues affecting working class people,” Ryan said.

That’s frustrating, Ryan continued, especially after the Democratic-controlled Congress has chalked up successes such as the Inflation Reduction Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, and the Chips Act.

“When they hear a person like me talk normal, you get polls that have us up a few points,” he said.

Ryan toured Cleveland-Cliffs’ plant and spoke with workers there. The plant in Warren produces coke that is used in the steel manufacturing process. Cleveland-Cliffs is the largest producer of flat-rolled steel in North America. No media was allowed on the tour.

Ryan was then scheduled to leave for Canton to meet with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. On Saturday, the congressman has stops scheduled in Ironton, Portsmouth and Chillicothe.

A recent poll from Baldwin-Wallace shows Ryan ahead of Vance by four points, within the poll’s margin of error. Most polls show the race as a dead heat. According to FiveThirtyEight.com, a site that rates and aggregates nonpartisan polls, Vance is favored to win.

Ryan cautioned that both political parties are having messaging problems.

“Republicans aren’t very popular right now,” he said. “They’re supporting extremists and insurrectionists. And then you’ve got Democrats that don’t know how to talk to people and lack focus on the economic issues that are so important.”

Ryan’s campaign received a big boost Oct. 25 as thousands turned out for a rally featuring a free concert by the Dave Matthews Band in Columbus.

Also attending the rally and voicing his support for the congressman was Boardman native and legendary Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar.

In a new political commercial previewed on Twitter, Ryan is seen introducing Kosar at the rally.

“Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, there has been way too much extremism in our country over the last couple years,” Kosar said. “We need another quarterback leader in our Senate,” referring to Ryan’s gridiron days at John F. Kennedy High School.

Kosar’s endorsement is telling, since the former Browns QB addressed the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in 2016. Kosar was also expected to address the Medina County Republican Party annual Finance Dinner Oct. 28.

Once the commercial supporting Ryan surfaced, the Medina GOP removed Kosar from its list of speakers for the event.

Kosar’s endorsement was like “a dream come true,” Ryan said, noting he used to wear the Browns legend’s No. 19 jersey under his own during his high school playing days.

Meanwhile, Vance, a venture capitalist in his first bid for public office, has painted Ryan as indifferent to the concerns of working Americans.

In a new advertisement launched this week, Vance reiterated Ryan’s support for Pelosi and President Joe Biden’s policies — policies that the candidate says has led to skyrocketing inflation.

The ad features Vance cooking breakfast, casting blame on the Biden administration and Ryan’s support. “Since Biden took over, breakfast and everything else is much more expensive,” Vance says. “Tim Ryan could have stopped this inflation, which is killing the middle class. Instead, he voted 100% for Biden’s and Pelosi’s liberal plans.”

Ryan said his strategy down the stretch is to engage citizens all across Ohio through his “Putting Workers First” bus tour.

“I think J.D. Vance has been labeled as an extremist and somebody who can’t be trusted,” Ryan said. “People are paying attention. They’ve heard my name and they’ve seen me in their communities. So I think people are going to give us a shot.”

“This will be the upset in the country on election night,” Ryan predicted.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.