When it comes to an endorsement by far-left socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it’s “thanks but no thanks!” At least that is how fellow Democrat Tim Ryan feels, having brushed off AOC’s endorsement, saying that it would not be “helpful” as he vies for an open Senate seat in red-trending Ohio.
Ryan is a veteran House Democrat who has served alongside fellow AOC since she joined the lower chamber in 2019. However, Ryan, who is locked in a tough Senate race against Republican J.D. Vance in Ohio, is less than thrilled about the show of support that he received from the progressive New York lawmaker.
Ryan, who since 2003 has represented a congressional district anchored in northeastern Ohio, has barnstormed the state campaigning in areas that have not been friendly to Democrats in years — hoping to cobble together a coalition of traditional “rustbelt” voters while also attracting those who may be exasperated by standard politicians.
And the pledge of support from the liberal star wasn’t something that Ryan was looking for, or even wanted, according to NBC News.
“It’s not a helpful endorsement here,” the congressman told NBC. “Nor did I seek it.”
After the Supreme Court struck down the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision — which legalized abortion in the United States and afforded a constitutional right to the procedure — AOC wrote on Instagram last month that voters needed to vote for Ryan this fall, along with Senate candidates John Fetterman in Pennsylvania and Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin.
“We CAN do more to pursue these items more aggressively. And THEN, once we do, we can secure the W and turn out the vote for [Fetterman] in PA, [Barnes] in WI, and [Ryan] in OH this November,” she wrote at the time.
For much of his congressional career, Ryan opposed abortion, citing the beliefs of his Catholic faith.
But in 2015, Ryan publicly reversed course and expressed his support for abortion rights, a position that he further embraced after the high court’s recent ruling on the procedure, which he called “the largest case of government overreach in my lifetime.”
“By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court is gutting a long-established right in order to put politicians between women and their doctors,” he said in a statement at the time.
Ryan has called for abolishing the filibuster to codify Roe into law, a position that Ocasio-Cortez had gotten behind even before the court overturned Roe.
However, Ryan is still trying to shake off AOC’s support and is actually seeking to put some distance between himself and Washington Democrats as he seeks to win over voters in a state that has become difficult for the party.
But despite such efforts, it’s an uphill battle in with less than 100 days to the midterms in a year where Republicans are poised to make major gains in Congress.