“When you see working class people — blue-collar people — going and voting for Trump, that’s a failure of the Democratic Party because they felt like we didn’t care about them,” Ryan said in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch earlier this month. “That just makes my stomach sick.”
He has vowed that if he wins and Democrats continue to take a drubbing at the polls in 2018, he will step down after one term.
“It’s time for us to get off our rear ends and start leading,” Ryan said. “That’s why we need new leadership. This is not rocket science.”
For her part, Pelosi dismissed Ryan’s suggestion that she can’t lead the party with white working-class voters in an interview with The Huffington Post.
“He didn’t even carry his district for Hillary Clinton,” she told the online publication this week, “so I don’t know why he’s saying that.”
Among those who have backed Ryan is Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Cleveland. Rep. Joyce Beatty, whose district includes parts of Columbus, and Toledo Rep.Marcy Kaptur have not said who they’ll back.
Ryan’s district includes Niles and Youngstown and reaches into Stark County.
Jack Torry of the Washington Bureau contributed to this report.