• Paul Steinhauser

Dem Rep. Tim Ryan, weighing 2020 run, warns party perceived as 'hostile to business'

Photo by Paul Steinhauser

Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who is considering a 2020 presidential run, said Wednesday that his party has to be “very careful” not to appear too anti-business as it tries to win back the White House.

“I think we’ve got to be very careful. We come off sometimes as hostile to business,” the Ohio congressman lamented as he spoke with Fox News and two New Hampshire news organizations on Wednesday.

The comments come a day after Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has played an influential role pulling presidential candidates to the left on several issues, entered the White House race. 

Ryan, who raised his national profile with an unsuccessful leadership challenge against Nancy Pelosi in 2016, said Wednesday he’s “getting close” to making his own decision on whether to run for president.

Ryan argued that to get things accomplished, “we’ve got to come together. And that includes being engaged with the business community. You can be hostile to greed, you can be hostile to income inequality, you can be for raising raises … but you can’t be hostile to businesses because 98 percent of businesses are small business people.”

“We can’t green the economy without the power of the free-market system,” he added.

Ryan spoke during a three-day swing through the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire. The trip is full of private meetings with leading Democratic state and local lawmakers, rainmakers and union leaders.

Ryan, who made multiple trips to New Hampshire over the past two years, said: “I think there’s plenty of time to get to know people in Iowa and New Hampshire and the early states and raise the kind of money that you would need. I think you’ve got to make a decision soon, but I’m not feeling like we missed the opportunity.”

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