The Ohio congressman says a GM plant closure in his district is a reason he’s running.
Tim Ryan, the Ohio congressman who challenged Nancy Pelosi to be House minority leader in 2016, is ready to chase another of America’s top political offices: He’s officially running for president in 2020.
Ryan announced his bid through a new website, moments before he was set to appear on ABC’s The View to make his formal announcement.
On his campaign website, Ryan outlines his decision to run for president and specifically cites the closure of a General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio, which is in the congressional district he represents.
“When our local GM factory was shut down last Thanksgiving, I got a call from my daughter who was consoling her friend whose father was an autoworker and was just laid off. My daughter said to me, with tears in her voice, ‘You have to do something,’” Ryan wrote.
“That’s why I am running for president,” he added. “It’s time to do something.”
Ryan is staking out a position as the candidate best suited to outmaneuver President Donald Trump in one of his key strengths in 2016. Trump spent that election promising to save manufacturing jobs in America’s Rust Belt and Midwest, and he won states including Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
But factory closings have still happened during Trump’s presidency, and now Ryan is taking aim at Trump for something the president promised would never happen under his watch: manufacturing plants in Ohio going dark and employees losing their jobs.
Ryan’s message? Trump hasn’t kept his promise. But the Ohio congressman — a close ally to unions and organized labor in his district — is vowing he will.
“There’s so much change — globalization, automation, cultural — I don’t really think either party has really wrapped their arms around all of these dynamics and put a cohesive message together,” Ryan told Vox last year. “Trump obviously did it in a concise way, but he hasn’t delivered on any of that stuff. He promised, but he kind of got what the main problem was, but no solution anywhere near helping solve those problems.”