Rep. Tim Ryan: President should focus on important issues, not rallies


By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

City Police Chief Robin Lees says people should avoid the downtown in the hours before President Donald Trump speaks Tuesday at the Covelli Centre.

Lees met with the U.S. Secret Service on Thursday to help plan security for the event and said that the entire east end of the downtown basically will be shut down in preparation for the president’s visit.

Trump is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. at the center, 229 E. Front St. The doors to the venue open at 4 p.m.

Additionally, Lees said people should avoid the downtown area between 3 and 8 p.m.

“If you don’t have to be here, don’t come down here,” Lees said.

Lees also said a list of streets to be closed for the president’s arrival will be known shortly before the event. He said traffic patterns around the downtown area will be affected by the visit as well.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan is criticizing Trump for coming to Youngstown for a rally rather than focus on the important issues facing the country.

“During the last six months, he’s not followed through on what he promised,” Ryan, of Howland, D-13th, said Thursday during a conference call with reporters.

During last year’s presidential campaign, Trump, a Republican, spoke of reopening steel mills and coal mines, labeling China as a currency manipulator, creating a jobs program, reforming health care and “draining the swamp” in Washington, D.C.

“He’s gone against a lot of the things he said he was going to do,” said Ryan, who added about Trump: “He was selling everybody a bill of goods.”

Ryan called Trump “the master of the shiny object,” in which he persuades people to look at something else in an effort to distract from the controversy that surrounds him.

Mahoning County Democrats and other local Democratic and progressive groups will have a counter-rally from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday on Central Square to protest Trump’s efforts to change the nation’s health-care system and to call on the president to create jobs.

“We’re putting forth our message: promises made [by Trump] and promises broken,” said county Democratic Party Chairman David Betras. Trump is “having a rally to make himself feel good and not to propose ways to bring back jobs, protect pensions and increase wages. He’s not coming here to announce a new initiative on infrastructure or jobs or manufacturing. I wish he was. I’m looking for him to deliver on the promises he made to the Valley.”

In response, county Republican Party vice chairwoman Tracey Winbush, who ran Trump’s campaign in the county, said: “Congress lays the foundation for the president to administrate. When the honorable Congressman Tim Ryan along with the entire House of Representatives and U.S. Senate stop playing political games and begin to put America first and do their job, then we can have a conversation about distraction. But until then, be thankful we have an administration led by President Trump willing to pay attention to the Mahoning Valley. The president cannot sign what is not there, and bipartisanship is the only way to truly ‘Make America Great Again.’ Now protest on that.”

To register to get up to two tickets for Trump’s rally, fill out a form at https://www.donaldjtrump.com/rallies/youngstown-oh/

Trump campaigned in the area three times last year during the 2016 presidential campaign: March 14, the day before the Republican primary, at Winner Aviation; Aug. 15 for a policy speech on immigration at Youngstown State University; and Sept. 5 for a brief stop at the Canfield Fair.

Trump lost Mahoning County in last year’s election to Hillary Clinton 49.9 percent to 46.6 percent, the best showing for a Republican in the Democratic stronghold since Richard Nixon’s victory in 1972. Trump became the first Republican to win Trumbull County since Nixon in 1972, capturing 50.7 percent of the vote to 44.5 percent for Clinton, a Democrat.

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