Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) on the "bad brand" that the Democrats give off, pointing to Jon Ossoff's loss in Georgia where Republicans were successful in pinning the Dem candidate to Nancy Pelosi. Ryan said that is a strategy that has worked for Republicans for 10 years. Ryan called Pelosi and the Democratic brand "toxic."
"The brand is just bad," the Congressman said on CNN Wednesday night. "I don't think people in the beltway are realizing just how toxic the Democratic Party brand is in so many parts of the country."
"I think the honest answer is in some areas of the country, yes, she is," Ryan said about the toxicity of the House Minority Leader. "I think that in certain areas, like in some of these special election districts, it doesn't benefit our candidates to be tied to her."
"She's less popular than Donald Trump in my district," Ryan told CNN's Don Lemon.
"Clearly, we're coming off an election, and she's been getting pounded now for 10 years with negative ads from the Republicans. I don't think it's fair. But, clearly, these ads using her, linking her to our candidates is still working," Ryan complained.
Ryan said he has been approached by Republicans begging him and the Democratic party not to "get rid of Pelosi" because that he is who they run against:
RYAN: There's a reason why the Republicans are still using it. And when you hear Republicans talk in the gym or running around the House floor, they say, you know, just keep going the way you're going because we're still using this.
I had a member of Congress grab me tonight, please tell me you're not going to get rid of Nancy Pelosi, please tell me she's not going to retire because that's who I run against. She's less popular than Donald Trump in my district.
Ryan said Democrats need to get "our act together" and stop focusing entirely on Russia because people are more concerned about the "real bread and butter" issues.
RYAN: We all have a lot of anger towards what Donald Trump is doing, but we've had four special elections, and Donald Trump, 4, Democrats, 0. I hate to admit that. It hurts. It's painful, but we've got to get our act together because there's a lot of people relying on us.
I worry sometimes that we get so obsessed and angered by Donald Trump, which is OK, but you can't hold on to it because it takes your eye off the ball.
We're not focusing on the economic messages. People in Ohio, Don, aren't really talking about Russia or Michael Flynn or Putin or anything else. They're worried about paying the bills, what's happening with our pension, how much does it cost to send a kid to school, what's our energy bill like. Real bread and butter stuff. And when we're talking about Trump so much we're not talking about them.