Tim Ryan is cunning. Facing an ultra-tight race against J.D. Vance for Ohio’s US Senate seat, Ryan is hedging his bets by running as a Republican on the Democratic ticket.
Ryan strikes me as willing to do and say whatever it takes to win — more so even than your average career politician (he is 49 years old, has served in the US House since 2003 and was in the Ohio State Senate before that). Lately, in an attempt to appear “moderate,” Ryan has been adopting Republican talking points and throwing his own party under the bus. But a trip down memory lane shows Ryan for what he really is: someone who voted “with President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi 100 percent of the time this Congress,” and only voted in line with President Trump 16 percent of the time.
Ryan, sporting a baseball pullover jacket in, uh, Republican red, told CNN this week that “the national Democratic Party has never been really good at strategic political decisions.” When asked in September if Joe Biden should run again for president, Ryan said, “we need new leadership across the board.” Regarding fellow Democrats who won’t debate their opponents or appear on anything but far-left media outlets, he declared, “Have some guts. Look, you have to lead. This moment right now is calling for leadership.”
Ryan is selling himself as a great unifier. “People are tired of the hate, tired of the anger, tired of the fear, tired of the division,” he said, shortly after accusing Vance of being a racist and tying him to a mass shooter. He’s embraced the macho, not afraid to curse and wear T-shirts and camo hats with the American flag and smash televisions with bravado, claiming he’s pro-tax cuts, against Defund the Police, and “not that guy” (profound).
Despite what he portrays, Tim Ryan is ultra-progressive. AOC knows it, which is why she endorsed him. Let’s take a look at his positions on the issues.
Inflation and the economy: Ryan said during a recent debate, “We need tax cuts to put money in people’s pockets.” But “we need” and “I’ll vote for” tax cuts aren’t the same thing.
The National Republican Senate Committee compiled a list of 113 times Ryan has voted for higher taxes. In his career, he’s voted in favor of raising taxes to the tune of “at least $6.74 trillion.” He voted for the so-called “American Rescue Plan.” He was also proud to have voted for the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which will add $360 billion to Americans’ tax bill (not to mention all those additional IRS workers, whom Ryan says are necessary to “go after these billionaires who are avoiding taxes at all cost”).
Abortion: Ryan favors codifying Roe v. Wade into law through the Women’s Health Protection Act and labels Vance an “extremist” for favoring Senator Lindsey Graham’s 15-week abortion ban (though Vance has professed support for some exceptions in which abortions should be allowed).
Salem News reports that Ryan is also “against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act which would require that infants born alive after botched abortion attempts are given the same degree of life-saving care that an infant born at the same gestational age would receive.”
Immigration: Ryan once tweeted that Donald Trump was using illegal immigration to “stoke division and inflame racial and ethnic animosity.” In 2018, he made a show of leaving his State of the Union guest seat vacant “in honor of Amer Othman and all others wrongfully targeted for deportation by ICE.”
Fox News also reminds us that in a 2019 ACLU questionnaire, Ryan committed to “reducing the size of the immigration detention system by at least 75 percent, cutting ICE’s detention budget, and ending the detention of families, asylum seekers, and other vulnerable populations,” among other related goals.
Ryan also said “yes” at the time to ensuring “that transgender and non-binary people who rely on the state for medical care — including those in prison and immigration detention — will have access to comprehensive treatment associated with gender transition, including all necessary surgical care.”
Crime: Ryan has admitted that “crime is an issue,” and declared, “We need more cops, we need better paid cops and we need to make sure that we invest into police training.”
Healthcare: When asked how “to make health care and prescription drugs more affordable,” Ryan said he wants to “do what we started to do in the inflation bill,” i.e. price capping. A new Wall Street Journal analysis unveils a further consequence of the price capping measures of the IRA: new price controls have “effectively undone decades of bipartisan policy that promoted research and development by balancing profit incentives with cost concerns,” thereby killing “incentives for research and development of life-saving drugs.”
These are but a smattering of the far-left policies Tim Ryan has supported. “Most people don’t vote policy,” Ryan once said. “They vote, ‘Do I trust somebody?’” If Ohio voters are paying attention, they should wonder whether Ryan has had a sudden, 180-degree change of heart, or whether he’s just lying.