2020 Democratic presidential contender Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) said taking people's private health insurance is a "stone-cold political loser" for the party. In an interview with FOX Business Network's Maria Bartiromo, Ryan criticized deficit spending under President Trump and expressed fear that a recession is on its way.
"I want to bring us together," Ryan said. "I want to work with Republicans. I want to work with the business community. And I'm the guy that can do it."
"As a recession comes on is, you got to get some more money into the economy. But the problem is we got trillion-dollar deficits now that the Republicans passed with their tax cut. We should have never have cut taxes like we did, when times are going so well, because now we don't have the levers to pull when times are tough," the candidate said Wednesday on FOX News' 'Your World.'
Ryan called for a Keynesian of taxing when the "economy was good" to spending money on infrastructure when a recession hits
"We should have raised taxes when times were going good, so when times go bad, get back to the old Keynesian economics," Ryan lamented. "What I would have done as president is, the economy was good. We had how many years of growth? Top 1 percent is doing extremely well. We should have raised taxes, put it in the bank. And then, when the recession goes, then you spend, then you invest back into infrastructure and those things to balance off the recession."
"What are we going to do?" Ryan asked. "Now we're borrowing a trillion dollars a year from countries like China. I don't think anybody watching FOX News at home thinks that's a good idea."
Ryan also criticized the Democratic primary process and that candidates will resort to "paying $50 to $70" to get a $1 donation to meet debate requirements.
"You have people now paying $50 to $70 for a $1 contribution," Ryan said. "And they're paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to Facebook and Google for ads to get a $1 donation."
MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS GUEST ANCHOR: Former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid slamming some 2020 Democratic contenders for having plans too progressive to win over voters in the general election.
Here to react, a member of that 2020 field, Democratic presidential candidate, Congressman Tim Ryan.
Congressman, it's good to see you today. Thanks so much for being here.
REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH), 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hi, Maria. How are you?
BARTIROMO: You agree with Harry Reid?
RYAN: Oh, I sure do.
I was very clear in the last debate. I was very clear in every interview I have done since then.
I think going for taking people's private health insurance away as part of our health care plan is a stone-cold political loser for us. It's bad policy. People have negotiated really good contracts. Union members, like the ones that are behind me right now here in Iowa, negotiated good health care, sacrificed wages.
You can't go in and say that you're going to want to take their health insurance away. I think that's -- that's a loser for us. And I'm not for that.
BARTIROMO: How did this happen? How did the Democratic Party swing so far to the left, Congressman?
I mean, you’ve got plans that sure sound socialist. And that's not where much of the country is.
RYAN: Well, I don't know how it happened.
It kind of gets away from you sometimes. But I think we’ve got to keep our focus on, how does everybody get universal coverage? How does it -- how is it affordable? And if you can't afford it, how can we help you pay for it?
And then how do we make sure that we move away from -- the pharmaceutical companies are charging way too much money for these drugs. And then the system is broken, Maria. Here's the argument I'm trying to make as a Democrat.
Look, the system is broken. We're spending two-and-a-half times as much on health care as every other industrialized country, and get the worst results, because it's a disease care system. We wait until people get really, really sick, and then we spend a lot of money trying to take care of them.
We need to move to things like food as medicine. We need to reverse chronic disease, which is about $3.5 trillion a year. This stuff is reversible, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure.
RYAN: Let's have an innovative, progressive health care system that keeps us healthy, instead of a disease care system that makes money off of us being sick.
BARTIROMO: Yes, get ahead of it. Wellness, I know, has been important to you for a long time.
RYAN: Get ahead of it.
BARTIROMO: Let me ask you about the process of running for president so far, because we know what happened back in 2016, when the party was all-in for Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders was basically impacted by that, because everybody was in the tank for Hillary.
Do you feel that you’ve have had a fair process so far?
RYAN: Well, look, the process is the process. We need to keep going.
I mean, the debates, I wish they were smaller, where we got more time to talk about -- like things like food as medicine. And I have got this whole agenda around trauma-informed care with our kids and our schools, and social and emotional learning and vocational education.
And I didn't get a chance really to get all that out, because you only get a minute or 30 seconds. So I thought -- I wish the debates were smaller. But we're moving. We're picking up everywhere we go, standing ovation here, everyone saying I gave the best speech of all the candidates here today.
So we're moving. It's just going to take me a little longer. It's why I'm asking everybody to go to TimRyanForAmerica.com, and send me 5 or 10 bucks. If you want somebody that's going to bring the country together, not be so polarized, I'm the guy to do it. I'm the guy who can beat Donald Trump, but from the Democratic side.
And I want to bring us together. I want to work with Republicans. I want to work with the business community. And I'm the guy that can do it. So go to TimRyanForAmerica.com. Let's bring this country back together with some real common sense measures. And that message is getting out, and we're just going to keep moving.
BARTIROMO: Are you going to able to make your case at the next debate? Do you qualify, with the threshold?
RYAN: Not yet, but we're moving in the right direction. We have got some serious online stuff happening now for us to move us in the direction of the low-dollar donations.
We have got great endorsements coming from Manchester, New Hampshire. We have got the highest vote-getting alderman there and two other very popular aldermen there, Dan O'Neil, and Bill Barry, and Tim Baines, son of the former mayor in Manchester, all supporting me.
Representative Fletcher Smith, who was Joe Biden's co-chair in South Carolina in 2008, and Brandon Brown, his deputy director in '08, are all with me now.
So we're coming from the bottom up. We're not worried about so much the social media and all of that. I'm on the ground. That's the only way I know how to do it, Maria. And it's going to take a little bit longer, which is why I'm asking people to send me some money if they want some sanity to come to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
BARTIROMO: So you said -- recently, you said: "They're trying to shut out the more moderate voices of the party, to start eliminating people now, it's not fair."
Who's running this? AOC? The Squad? The real progressives of the party?
RYAN: I don't think it was the intention, necessarily, of how it went out.
But you have people now paying $50 to $70 for a $1 contribution. And they're paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to Facebook and Google for ads to get a $1 donation.
I don't think that's what the DNC intended to happen. But that is certainly what has happened.
And Bill Clinton got in, in October, Maria. I mean, that is what is crazy about this. Here we are in August. I mean, you and I, in a normal year, we would be having a conversation right now where you would be saying to me, Congressman Ryan, are you -- you think you're going to run for president or not?
And now it's like almost the other thing, like, OK, who's getting out of the race now?
RYAN: So we have got a lot of time left. People in Iowa, and New Hampshire, and South Carolina want to hear from us. And we're going to be in this race for a long time.
BARTIROMO: So you're campaigning on your plans for health care and, obviously, you just mentioned wellness.
The economy is not a subject your colleagues want to touch, because it's doing well. We had a segment at the top of the show that the media and the Democrats are trying to talk us into recession. What do you say?
RYAN: I have been talking about this economy not doing well for the vast majority of people for a long time.
And I was the Democrat who they were saying, you shouldn't talk about it. But I was, because 75 percent of the people in the country, Maria, are still living paycheck to paycheck.
And so the stock market was doing well and unemployment was low, but people still weren't getting ahead. And so what I talked about here with the union folks and when I talk about -- I want to have a chief manufacturing officer. I want us to dominate electric vehicles, dominate batteries, dominate solar, dominate A.I., dominate additive manufacturing.
Put a public-private partnership together, where the government is doing constructive things to create jobs that are $30, $40 or $50 an hour, not 15 bucks an hour.
RYAN: That's where the economy is not working for people.
They're still living paycheck to paycheck. And I have -- I have ideas. Again, go to TimRyanForAmerica.com. I want to build things again. I want to get into rural America and start doing regenerative agriculture again to heal our farmers in rural America.
BARTIROMO: So --
RYAN: I have got a transformational agenda. And I'm ready to keep talking about it.
BARTIROMO: You want -- you want to see a payroll cut, payroll tax cut?
RYAN: Well, let's see how the economy goes. Let's see. Let's see what happens in the next few months.
RYAN: But I do think that one of the things you have to do as -- in a -- as a recession comes on is, you got to get some more money into the economy.
But the problem is we got trillion-dollar deficits now that the Republicans passed with their tax cut. We should have never have cut taxes like we did, when times are going so well, because now we don't have the levers to pull when times are tough.
BARTIROMO: It moved the needle.
RYAN: And that's what’s the problem. The Fed --
BARTIROMO: Can you really say times are tough?
Look, a recession is two quarters of negative growth. We know that. We had this year 3.1 percent growth in the first quarter and 2.1 percent growth in the second quarter. So we're not seeing any negative growth.
RYAN: Well, here's what I'm saying. Here's my point.
When we do have a recession, we will have no tools in the toolbox to take care of anything. You can't deficit-spend because we got trillion-dollar deficits now as far as the eye can see and a $22-trillion-a-year debt, which we need to all be mature and talk about.
The Fed has rates that are so low now, they can barely cut them anymore to help with lower monetary policy.
So what are we going to do? And we have cut taxes to low levels, so we got less money coming in. That was bad policy. We should have raised taxes when times were going good, so when times go bad, get back to the old Keynesian economics.
RYAN: Then we’ve got some money to spend, and then you cut taxes.
BARTIROMO: Well, maybe.
But I got to push back, because when they cut taxes last year and rolled in regulations -- deregulation, you actually saw the needle move on the economy. We had a 4 percent quarter that year. And we have been trending a lot higher than the prior administration.
RYAN: Yes, sure, we were on a sugar high. So -- but is that -- is that going to be beneficial for us when we need to invest money into the economy, when we need to cut taxes to get more money in the economy once we get to the recession?
I think that's a bad tradeoff. What I would have done as president is, the economy was good. We had how many years of growth? Top 1 percent is doing extremely well. We should have raised taxes, put it in the bank. And then, when the recession goes, then you spend, then you invest back into infrastructure and those things to balance off the recession.
And we’ve gotten out of that Keynesian policy for such a long time. What are we going to do? Now we're borrowing a trillion dollars a year from countries like China. I don't think anybody watching FOX News at home thinks that's a good idea.
Borrowing money from China, and China takes the interest that we pay on that money --
BARTIROMO: Right. Right.
RYAN: -- and they build their military out and build their economy out? That's not -- that's not a good idea for us.
BARTIROMO: Congressman, real quick, before you go, if you don't make the cut in terms of these thresholds, are you prepared to run for vice president?
RYAN: I'm not having that conversation yet.
BARTIROMO: Are you prepared to team up with one of your colleagues as a V.P.?
RYAN: I'm not prepared to have that conversation yet.
BARTIROMO: All right.
RYAN: I'm nowhere near getting out of this race. We're on the move. TimRyanForAmerica.com. Send us 10 bucks. Keep us going.
We're bringing a very progressive, reasonable approach to really rehabilitating the economy here for working-class people.
BARTIROMO: All right. Congressman, thank you.
RYAN: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: Good to see you, Congressman. Thank you so much.
RYAN: Thanks, Maria.