YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Congressman Tim Ryan returned home Friday, a day after announcing that he’s running for House Minority Leader. But it won’t be much of a Thanksgiving break, as he’ll continue campaigning until the election on November 30.
Over the past 24 hours, he has appeared on CNN once and MSNBC twice, and said he’ll appear on more national news programs if asked.
Ryan addressed reporters in Youngstown on Friday to discuss his decision. He called the Democratic Party an important institution that fights for the working class.
“For us to put ourselves at such a strategic and political disadvantage, it really, really bothers me. Obviously, it bothers me enough to do this.”
Ryan said the call to run did not come until election night – the results of which he was not happy with.
“I’ve never thought about being in the House leadership.”
The Congressman says he has not spoken with current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi since deciding to oppose her, though he has left messages and sent notes.
“Nobody wants to take on Nancy Pelosi in a Democratic Caucus that are only 200 people of her best friends,” he said. “That is not something you wake up and say, ‘Boy, I’m going to do this today.’ But leaders lead.”
Ryan said that if he loses against Pelosi, he won’t lose his seat on the Appropriations Committee.
“There’s not a whole lot of punishment at this point,” he said. “I’d rather bare any downside than live without not having made the decision to get this message out.”
After the news conference, Ryan went around the room, shaking hands with everyone there. As he left the building, he appeared at ease with his decision.
“Let the chips fall where they may and I’ll sleep good at night, I’ll drool on the pillow. Is that a little too much information for everybody?”
When asked if he has the votes to win, he never said yes or no, though he later admitted they’re just beginning to add them up. His response to Pelosi having two-thirds of the vote?