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(Video: Fox News)
U.S. Representative Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) spoke with Fox News’s Bret Baier on Wednesday and was asked how he intends to distance himself from President Joe Biden – the leader of his party – considering how dismal the president’s approval numbers are.
Now that Ryan will face off with Trump-endorsed Republican J.D. Vance, Baier posed the same question asked by Vance’s campaign of the Democrat, considering that while none overtly say it, members of the party appear to recoil when faced with the prospect of Joe Biden stumping for them.
Stacey Abrams comes to mind, as she was noticeably absent from a voting rights speech Biden delivered in Atlanta in January, preferring instead to go it alone in her gubernatorial campaign for the state of Georgia.
“Tuesday’s primary elections reinforced the juice that former President Trump has in the Republican Party. I want you to get a response to J.D. Vance there. How are you going to distance yourself from President Biden since you have voted with him 100 percent of the time?” Baier asked the congressman.
“J.D. Vance has said America is a joke, and I don’t think America is a joke. I think America is the greatest country in the history of the world,” Ryan said. “J.D. Vance said that he’s not comfortable in Ohio, and there is no place I’d rather be than Ohio. I have a long record of fighting for working people, bringing resources back here, passing a bipartisan infrastructure bill [and] working to bring a high chip manufacturing company like Intel to Ohio. I’m about making Ohio the world’s manufacturing powerhouse. I’ve got a long record on that.”
Given that Trump won Ohio handily in 2016 and 2020 even as Joe Biden recently said the MAGA contingent in the country is “the most extreme political organization that’s existed in American history,” the host of “Special Report with Bret Baier” asked Ryan how that will weigh on his campaign.
“Well, I think first and foremost is we got to get out of this Democrat/Republican food fight. We got start looking at each other as Americans,” Ryan argued. “And look, I ran against Nancy Pelosi. I have taken on Bernie Sanders. I have disagreed with Obama. I even agreed with President Trump on renegotiating NAFTA; on being tough on China.
He continued, “We’ve to get away from which side are you on? You got the red shirt on and the blue shirt on. We need to all put the red, white, and blue shirt on and started thinking of ourselves as Americans so that we can take on China who is cleaning our clock.”
“I heard you in an interview today really not answer if you want President Biden on the campaign trail in Ohio,” Baier said in the latter part of the interview. “The sitting president of the United States. I didn’t hear an answer to that. Do you or do you not?”
“My answer was I want to be the face of this campaign,” Ryan replied. “And I don’t want any distractions. I’m tired of the Democrat/Republican thing. I want us to move forward together and start to heal and rebuild the middle class and beat China. And I want to be the face and the voice of this campaign and I don’t want any distractions. I don’t need anybody to prop me up like J.D. Vance did.”
“Even from the sitting president of the United States of your party, right?” Baier pressed the congressman, reminding him that he’s voted with Biden 100 percent of the time.
“We’ll make that decision as the campaign continues,” Ryan explained. “But some of those votes are to bring a huge multibillion dollar Intel project to Ohio creating thousands of jobs at $135,000 a year, or the bipartisan infrastructure bill that’s gonna create 600,000 jobs in the state of Ohio.”
Ryan concluded, “I’m here for Ohio. Ninety-seven percent of my donation are under a hundred dollars. That’s who’s powering my campaign. Nobody’s going to own me.”
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