Ryan Embraces Role as Advocate for Clinton

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan’s role Thursday as an advocate for Hillary Clinton is only the most recent example – and definitely not the last — of the Mahoning Valley congressman’s support for the former U.S. secretary of state and senator.

Ryan, D-13 Ohio, joined Hillary for America senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan in a noon press call to contrast Clinton’s plans for manufacturing with those of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Sanders, challenging Clinton for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, was in Berea yesterday.

“We’re grateful to have the support of Congressman Tim Ryan, who cares deeply about the Mahoning Valley and the well-being of Ohio’s citizens,” said Yianni Varonis, Hillary for Ohio press secretary, in an emailed statement. “He knows Hillary Clinton is the only candidate who will be tough enough on China to protect our workers and bring high-paying manufacturing jobs back to his district. That is why he has campaigned for Hillary Clinton in Iowa, New Hampshire and across Ohio.”

Clinton “understands the complexities of how to grow the manufacturing base,” while Sanders “doesn’t have a history of manufacturing,” Ryan said during the call. As a senator, Clinton represented New York, which cities such as Buffalo, Rochester and Albany, “that look a lot like Cleveland and Akron and Youngstown and other towns in Ohio,” Ryan remarked.

With regard to manufacturing, Ryan, who’s served in Congress 14 years, said he hasn’t seen plans “as detailed, as well thought out and as practical” as those Clinton has put forth. They contain proposals to crack down on China’s “misbehavior” and detailed plans for public-private partnerships such as manufacturing institutes similar to America Makes. America Makes has been the model for the network of such hubs President Obama supports.

“Then even going down with her energy plan for wind and solar, that’s a manufacturing plan,” the congressman said. “If you look at a windmill, you’re talking about gearshifts, hydraulics, steel, rebar, concrete. That’s exactly what we do.”

Sanders, in contrast, has “been AWOL” on manufacturing issues, Ryan claimed. He criticized Sanders for “partnering with the most extreme right-wing people in Congress” who oppose reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, which the congressman said 350 businesses in Ohio rely on and which supported 1.4 million jobs nationwide over the past seven years.

“To me, that is the example of his lack of understanding of what it takes to grow the manufacturing base here in the United States,” Ryan said. “These are jobs that pay more, these are jobs that provide more benefits, these are the backbone of our defense industry, and these are the kinds of jobs that we need.”

Ryan supported Clinton when she sought the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. Ohio Democrats, including those in district, favored her over U.S. Sen. Barack Obama.

When Clinton formally announced her candidacy in April, Ryan issued a statement of support and made several appearances on her behalf in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Sanders has called for making public colleges and universities tuition free and taxing Wall Street to fund that tuition. He also advocates a single-payer health-insurance system.

Ryan understands Sanders’ appeal. “I get it,” he said. The senator from Vermont is “a compelling guy” with a message that hits home with a lot of Americans.

“But he’s not the guy to help address the issue,” Ryan declared. “It’s one thing to identify a problem but it’s another to have the ability, the skills and the knowledge to solve it.”

Ryan also describes businessman and former reality TV show host Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, as “very entertaining” but questions his appeal should he win the Republican nomination.

“He violates so many people’s basic idea of what being a role model means as president of the United States [and] a lot of Republicans are scared to death” he will be the nominee, he said. “He’s not showing the temperament and level of professionalism people want in a president.”

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.