Watch: U.S. Senate Candidate Tim Ryan Interviews With The Holler

Tim Ryan at the Cadiz, OH Public Library talks the future of the Ohio Valley, the state, and the country.

Full Video Transcript

John Russell (JR) 

This is the Harrison County History of Coal Museum in the Cadiz, OH public library, where U.S. Senate candidate and Youngstown congressman Tim Ryan stopped by share his plans about where this part of the country is headed next. 

JR 

Thanks for coming on. I grew up in the valley here. So I'm wondering, could you describe what the future of the economy looks like for the Ohio Valley and the Mahoning Valley?

Tim Ryan

It's got to be the newer technology. So building electric vehicles, batteries, the chip manufacturers, and more importantly, I think the supply chain, and we've got to intentionally work with Intel and these other companies Foxconn up in Youngstown area. We need the supply chain, to land in these communities that have lost over the last 30 or 40 years. And that's got to be intentional, but you got to get them on the menu. So they got to have broadband, you got to have infrastructure, we got to get shop class back in our schools, we've got to do these things that are going to actually allow us to... these communities to be on the menu for the growth, or they're not going to get the jobs. And that's what I need to fight for in the Senate.

JR 

Are blue-collar folks bought into batteries, new energy, and how do we get them on board with that change that it's gonna happen? 

Tim Ryan

Well, I think they're starting to see it. So up in Youngstown, we've got a battery plant. It's a General Motors battery plant. 1,200 union construction jobs to build it, 1,100 union full-time jobs there. 

And so I think people are starting to say, "Wow, this is a real plant with real workers making real money, and with a union contract." That's a battery for an electric vehicle. And so I think people are... the chip manufacturers now, the Intel project 20 billion will probably end up being 100 billion. 3,000 jobs there, tens of thousands across the state. I think people are starting to actually see it, the construction guys are for sure seeing it because they're the ones that are, you know, building these facilities. 

And I think the more press it gets, that's why we got to get the pipeline going. That's why we got to get shop class back, pump money into our joint vocational schools, making sure we're creating the workers for these jobs in the future.

JR

What kind of role do blue-collar workers have in solving and confronting climate change? 

Tim Ryan

Well, they're the workers, right? So if you're building factories that are going to be electric vehicles, you know, or batteries or chips, it's going to be the workers at the end of the day that are going to benefit from that. And that's what I've been trying to scream from the rooftops. We've got to get the skills up. We've got to move into reshoring these jobs that went to China. We've got to bring them back like we've been doing with Intel. And then the workers are going to benefit. Even with the Intel project, they're saying a lot of these jobs aren't going to be college jobs. They're going to be maybe a certificate or a two-year associate's degree. So that's why I'm saying shop class, JVS, one or two years of more training, and then boom, you're going to work at a company that's gonna make billions of dollars for the next however many decades, real job security.

JR 

Shout out to Columbia County Career and Technical Center where I did half my high school. 

I grew up in Ohio's sixth congressional district. 15 years ago, it was as blue as it is red today. Today, it's got... it's one of the districts, *the* district that's had the biggest conservative swing. In your district, the politics have been tough. How do we get around that? What do we do about, you know, Mahoning County and places where Democrats have been struggling especially to win statewide? How do we get around that?

Tim Ryan

Focus on the economic issues that people think about every single day. Get away from the culture wars. People want politicians to focus on their future, their kids, their economic situation, and if we focus like a laser beam on their issues and their economic stability, we're gonna win these voters back. 

And I'm telling you, I've been traveling up and down the Ohio River, been in southern Ohio, and Northwest Ohio, been in black communities, white communities, and the bottom line is, when we talk about economics, we have Republicans now helping us, we have independents who voted for, you know, opposite of the Democratic Party for the last couple of cycles. They're in our campaign now. And they're helping us because they're tired of the BS, and they want someone to talk about the real issues. 

And as I said here, look, if you're in a great relationship with your spouse, you don't agree 100% of the time, right? And so what are the five or six main issues, beating China, rebuilding the middle class, rebuilding America because we built Iraq and Afghanistan it's time to build this country up, you know, issues around fentanyl, taking care of our veterans. 

Like how do we just stay focused on those four or five issues? That's what I'm doing. Nobody else in the race is doing that. And so people are gonna have a real choice. And I think a lot of those people who voted Democrat for a while, you know, went away from it for a few cycles. I think they're feeling very comfortable coming back to vote for Tim Ryan.

JR 

These are the heavy-hitting lightning-round questions. 

Steelers or, Steelers?

Tim Ryan

Browns. 

JR (dismayed) 

Steubenville DiCarlo's or Patsy's in Elm Grove?

Tim Ryan

Haven't had either yet sounds like I'm getting a list here. We're making notes.

JR 

Should pizza be a square or a triangle?

Tim Ryan

Triangle. 

JR 

Triangle? Final answer?

Tim Ryan

Final answer. Don't tell my Italian grandpa.