Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), a 2020 presidential hopeful, said on CNN Wednesday that he’s “concerned” about the rise of socialism within the Democratic Party.
“I’m concerned about it because if we are going to de-carbonize the American economy it’s not going to be some centralized bureaucracy in Washington, D.C. that’s going to make it happen. It’s going to be part targeted government investments that do need to be robust, but it’s going to be the free market that’s, at the end of the day, going to make that happen,” Ryan said on CNN’s New Day.
Ryan said that only the “innovation” and “creativity” of the free market will allow for America’s economy to go carbon free.
“You can be hostile to concentration of wealth. You can be hostile to income inequality. You can be hostile to greed. We can’t be hostile to the free-enterprise system. That’s how we get past China,” Ryan continued.
2020 hopeful @RepTimRyan says he’s “concerned” about socialism and the Democratic Party.
“You can be hostile to concentration of wealth, you can be hostile to income inequality … We can't be hostile to the free-enterprise system. That’s how we get past China.” pic.twitter.com/ahlwI09rqb
— New Day (@NewDay) April 17, 2019
Ryan was then asked how the Democratic Party would pay for its Medicare for All legislation, which he supports.
“The reality of it is you’re not going to be paying private insurance anymore. You’re going to be paying into a public system. In many instances, now people can’t even get into any system, so we need that public system in place, some kind of public option for people to go to,” Ryan responded, but emphasized that he would not “take anybody’s private insurance away.”
The moderators, however, pointed out that the Democrats’ Medicare for All bill does call for the elimination of private insurance.
“The Medicare for All issue is really an aspirational—how do we get everybody covered,” Ryan said. “We’re not going to do this tomorrow. This is our aspirational goal. How do we get everybody in the United States covered. I don’t back down from that. I think it’s important. I think it’s a human right for everyone in America to have health care, but we don’t get there tomorrow.”
Recent polling has shown that likely Democratic voters view socialism more favorably than capitalism. Last year, Gallup found that 57 percent of Democrats now view socialism positively, compared to 47 percent who favor capitalism.
“For the first time in Gallup’s measurement over the past decade, Democrats have a more positive image of socialism than they do of capitalism,” Gallup said at the time.
A more recent poll from Public Opinion Strategies found that 77 percent of Democrats believe the country would be “better off” if it were more socialist, while self-declared democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) consistently leads in the 2020 polls.
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