Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio, who is running for president, pitched his ideas to a small group at Café Dodici in Washington Saturday night.
Ryan said that he does not believe the economy is strong for everyone, and that message needs to be brought to voters.
“The federal government is not functioning properly,” he said. “It’s about getting out of this survival mode that we’re in right now and getting into thriving mode again as a country, where we can cut the middle class in on the deal.”
He talked about how growing up in northeast Ohio, he and his family witnessed firsthand the loss of the steel, rubber and auto industries in that area.
Ryan said it is crucial to bring manufacturing back to the United States.
“We’ve got to get some manufacturing back around wind, solar and electric,” he said. “Right now, we’re getting our clock cleaned by China.”
He said that China controls 40-50 percent of the electric vehicle market and about 60 percent of the solar panel market.
“We need an industrial policy that says we’re going to dominate this market,” he said.
Ryan also pitched the idea of “regenerative agriculture,” saying farmers would make more with him than under the current administration’s policies.
When asked about social issues, Ryan said that the key is winning elections.
“We’ve got to start winning elections,” he said. “We lose elections, and they appoint justices. They have state legislatures, and I think it’s because we let them divide us up on a lot of these issues.
“If we’re the party that’s talking about their pocketbook, their family, their healthcare, their bread and butter, then they’re going to come and support us. If we win, then we’ll be able to pass legislation.”
The key to winning elections, he said, is coming together.
“We’ve got to come together,” Ryan said. “No one is going to get anything if we don’t.
“I want to come to rural America and say ‘Let’s join up. You can’t let them divide us, because we’re all getting screwed.’ We’re all in the same boat. We’ve just got different colored skin or come from different parts of the country.”