Ryan's supporters calling his loss 'a win' - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Ryan's supporters calling his loss 'a win'

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Congressman Tim Ryan and his supporters are calling Tuesday's vote denying him the House Minority Leadership a victory.

The House Democratic Caucus voted 134 to 63 to retain Rep. Nancy Pelosi as the party leader in the House.

The vote was taken in a closed door session as Congressman Ryan told fellow Democrats that he felt as far back as 2010 that the party did not have a message that resonated with his constituents back home.

Ryan says he was urged in past elections to keep his opinion to himself, but felt that losses in the executive and legislative branches this past November forced him to speak out.

“Now we're completely wiped out, and I'm not going to bite my tongue anymore,” Ryan told 21 News Reporter Matt Stone.

“We are not a minority party, we are now a coastal party,” said Ryan. “If it meant taking on Nancy Pelosi, it had to be done.”

Speaking at a news conference after his defeat, Ryan admitted disappointment, but said he believes that he and his supporters got the message out that Democrats need to talk about economics to win back Washington.

“I believe it in my heart that if we're going to win, as Democrats we need to have an economic message that resonates in every corner of this country. We come out of this leadership election united as Democrats,” said Ryan.

Claiming that the tone of the questions from reporters was unfair, fellow Democrat from Cleveland, Rep. Marcia Fudge stepped up to the podium to claim that the caucus vote was a victory.

“We may not have won the position. But we won a caucus. We now have a leadership that listens to what we are saying. We now have a leadership that now wants to be more inclusive and include more people from this caucus,” said Fudge.

Rep. Pelosi also gave a victory speech of sorts, congratulating Ryan but also admitting that her heart was broken that the Democrats did not win the White House.

Pelosi only briefly touched on Ryan's message that the Democrats need to promote an economic message that resonates with blue collar workers.

“This does afford an opportunity so that the congressional Democrats can go forward and remove all doubt that never again will we have an election where there's any doubt in anyone's mind where the Democrats are when it comes to America's working families,” said Pelosi.

Mahoning County Democratic Party Chair David Betras told 21 News that in his opinion, Ryan over performed in his effort to win the caucus leadership.

Betras said that 63 votes is a big win, noting that the last time someone challenged Nancy Pelosi they only got 40 votes.

He characterized Ryan's effort as a shot to the DNC and to what he called the Coastal Elites.

“Middle America matters,” said Betras. “Blue collar workers want to hear a more economic message coming from the Democratic Party. It wasn't a central plate issue.”

Betras also said that a lot of people in our area, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin live paycheck to paycheck and they're struggling. “The struggle for them is real. We have to understand that and we have to respect those workers,” said Betras.

Betras also says that Ryan's bid brought this area to a national platform. “Democrats in the Mahoning Valley were heard today. Our voices were heard in that room to the most powerful people in the country,” said Betras.

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