Tim Ryan discusses possibly running for the next Presidential campaign.
By PAUL STEINHAUSER
U.S. Rep Tim Ryan called for “wiser, smarter and bigger” leaders as he delivered the commencement address at the New Hampshire law school he graduated from 18 years ago.
And Ryan, of Howland, D-13th, who’s considered a potential 2020 Democratic presidential contender, told The Vindicator he’ll “have more to say at a later date” when asked whether his plans after November’s midterm elections include a possible White House run.
The congressman packed a lot into his day-and-a-half visit to New Hampshire, the state that traditionally holds the first presidential primary.
The highlight of the trip was delivering the commencement address at the University Of New Hampshire School Of Law. Ryan graduated from the school in 2000, when it was known as the Franklin Pierce School of Law.
In what may have been a veiled attack on Republican President Donald Trump, Ryan told the audience, “We are living in a moment that calls out for leaders who are wiser, smarter and bigger than our problems.”
“We need leaders who are established in that underlying unity of life so that they can see that differences in diversity, whether in language, the color of our skin, sexual orientation, cultural inflections or political beliefs are our greatest strengths,” he added.
In an interview before the commencement address, Ryan said, “Like any graduation where you return to where you were when you were younger, it brings back a lot of emotions, a lot of memories.”
He added that in preparing his speech, “I thought a lot about and reflected about what this law school meant to me and shaped me.”
Ryan, who’s running this November for a ninth term in Congress, is crisscrossing the country this year as he tries to help the Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives in November’s midterm elections.
Asked if he’s mulling a White House run, he said “my main goal” is to be part of the national conversation.
“I think when you come from a place like Youngstown, Ohio, where I come from, the challenges we face are the same challenges here in New Hampshire. They’re the same challenges in Indiana, where I’ll be next month, and a lot of these other congressional districts that I’m visiting. And I want to be part of a big, bold, national message for the Democrats.”
“How that takes place after the election, I’ll keep you posted,” he said.
Asked a second time about any national ambitions, Ryan answered, “We’ll have more to say at a later date. But right now I think it’s important for all Democrats to focus on 2018 and getting ourselves back in the majority.”
While Ryan evaded any talk of a possible presidential campaign, his itinerary read like one.
Ryan spoke to a gathering of the influential New Hampshire Young Democrats Friday evening in Manchester, before dining with longtime state Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley and Donna Soucy, the No. 2 Democrat in the New Hampshire state Senate.
Ryan met separately with labor leaders and top progressive leaders Saturday morning before the UNH Law commencement ceremonies. And after delivering his address, Ryan was off to Keene to keynote a Cheshire County Democrats spaghetti dinner honoring Democratic Congresswoman Annie Kuster, who represents New Hampshire’s 2nd District.
Ryan spoke with The Vindicator and Vindy.com the day after 10 people were killed and at least 10 others injured at a mass shooting at the Santa Fe, Texas, high school.
Ryan said he unfortunately wasn’t optimistic that Congress would take meaningful action to try and prevent such violence.
“I’m not optimistic with this Congress and our ability to really do anything productive for the country.
“Republicans have to show some leadership. They have all the power right now, and President Trump says the right things but doesn’t do anything,” he said.