Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) made a surprise appearance Wednesday at an Ohio Democratic Party event organized in response to President Donald Trump’s visits to Lima and Canton.
Trump spoke Wednesday afternoon to a crowd gathered at Lima’s Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, which nearly closed down five years ago but turned around in January after the Trump administration ordered 174 M1 Abrams tanks at a cost of $714 million.
The president then flew to Canton, Ohio for a closed-door fundraising event at Brookside Country Club. Prior to his stops in Canton and Lima, the state Democratic Party hosted two “We Stand With Ohio Workers” events in response to what it called “an attack on those fighting to save thousands of Ohio jobs.”
As The Ohio Star reported, Trump tore into United Auto Workers Local 1112 President David Green in a recent tweet, saying he “ought to get his act together and produce” to save the General Motors plant in Lordstown.
During Wednesday’s rally in Canton, Congressman Ryan called the criticisms “shameful,” “mean-spirited,” and “one more opportunity for him to distract from what’s going on.”
“The man in the middle of this entire sh– storm, and I intentionally said that,” Ryan said. “So the guy in the middle of this, the person in the middle of this whole thing, is Dave Green. Dave Green is the new leader of the auto worker plant in Lordstown. And the last three or four months for Dave Green have been exhausting, terrible, heartbreaking.”
“All of this pain,” said Ryan, who represents Lordstown. “And the most powerful person in the world, with all of this going on, decided I’m going to take this guy in Youngstown, Ohio and I’m going to kick him in the teeth. I’m going to shame him, and try to embarrass him publicly. Now I don’t know how you feel, but that’s not leadership.”
As Donald Trump comes to town, we're live in Canton at the Stand With Ohio Workers Event, with AFT – American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, United Steelworkers Local 1123 President Bob Harper, and GM Lordstown workers. Does Donald J. Trump stand with Ohio workers or with the corporations that are deserting our communities?
Posted by Ohio Federation of Teachers on Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper said Wednesday that “blaming the workers and their elected representatives is just wrong.”
“Thousands of hard-working Ohioans are dealing with the shuttering of the GM Lordstown plant. It’s horrible to think they’re being attacked at this heartbreaking moment,” Pepper said. “If the president thinks he can divide Ohioans, he is wrong. We are united.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Tim Ryan” by Tim Ryan. Background Photo “Tim Ryan” by the Ohio Federation of Teachers.