Politics

Rep. Tim Ryan 'seriously considering' running for president

'I don't feel any pressure,' he says

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan is "seriously considering" a run for president and doesn't have a timeline for making his decision, he told CNN's Erin Burnett Wednesday night.

Though he is not sure when he will make a decision, Ryan said on "Erin Burnett Out Front" Wednesday night that he is looking at making a bid.

"I don't feel any pressure for any timeline at this point but I am seriously considering it," Ryan said when asked about his 2020 aspirations. "The country is divided. We can't get anything done because of these huge divisions that we have."

The Democratic congressman was once considered a possible challenger to Rep. Nancy Pelosi for the House speakership and ran against her in 2016, falling short of the required votes.

If Ryan enters the race he will join an ever expanding slate of Democratic candidates looking to thwart President Donald Trump's re-election bid. Included on that list is a current House colleague of Ryan's -- Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard -- and a former one as well in John Delaney.

This is not the first time Ryan has suggested he is interested in a presidential run. Last week an adviser to the congressman told CNN that Ryan is planning visits to Iowa and New Hampshire in the coming months as he considers his bid.

The congressman will start his trip to the early primary states in New Hampshire before speaking at an agriculture forum in Iowa next month.

In 2018 Ryan hired a former Bernie Sanders adviser as a consultant on Iowa as he considered a run. Later that year Ryan said that he was caught between challenging Pelosi for the speakership or running for president. Ryan ultimately did not run against Pelosi to be speaker of the House

The five-term congressman from Ohio would likely present himself as a candidate able to connect to Midwestern voters who have drifted from the Democratic Party.

Ryan said Wednesday his primary motivations for running would be unifying the country helping the working class.

"People in communities like the ones I represent are suffering because of this division," Ryan said. "You can't win the future divided. A divided country is a weak country and I'm concerned about that."

Ryan referenced disparities in wealth between the richest and poorest Americans as an example of those divisions.

"Workers want cut in on a deal here and they haven't been for 30 years. So (running for president is) something I'm considering," he said.


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