Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio warned Wednesday the Democratic Party has a “perception problem,” saying it is imperative that the party reconnect with working-class voters if it wants to advance its top priorities.
Mr. Ryan said the party is viewed as too coastal and too elitist, and must be seen more as an advocate for the “forgotten communities” in the Rust Belt and Midwest that feel as though they have been left behind.
He said the “center of gravity in the party” must change if the party hopes to have voters listen to their policy plans.
“If you want to beat Mitch McConnell, this better be a working class party,” Mr. Ryan said. “If you want to go into Kentucky and take his rear end out, if you want to take Lindsey Graham out, you have to have a blue collar party that can go into the textile communities in South Carolina.”
“If we don’t address that fundamental problem with our connection to workers - white black brown, gay, straight - working-class people, none of this is going to be done,” he said.