Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio said Friday on CNN’s “New Day” it was reasonable for the Congressional Black Caucus to demand a black American be put in one of the top two leadership spots in the House.
“Given their role, do you think that’s a reasonable request,” host John Berman asked.
“I think it’s entirely appropriate,” Ryan responded. “If you look at one of the major power structures within the Democratic Party it is the African-American community. It’s African-American women who have carried so many races … I think it’s entirely appropriate for us to have in the top two leadership spots … African-American representation.”
“Not to mention, we’ve got to start going into the South and winning elections,” he continued. “The blue wall caved in 2016 in the industrial Midwest and we’re not playing as aggressively as we need to be in the South.”
“So you stand beside them, you’ll demand that?” Berman repeated. “Yeah, I think that’s an appropriate request,” Ryan replied.
Berman asked if there would be any trouble with current leaders like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Ryan said it’s time for the Democrats to make a change.
“I think we need … we need new leadership. I’ve been saying this since last year. It’s time for us to make a change,” Ryan said. “I think there’s a number of people in our caucus who are … who want us to make a change. I think there will be a viable challenge to leader Pelosi this year.”
Ryan promised the party’s leadership vote would “not be a coronation” for Pelosi and claimed there are various candidates who are qualified and willing to throw their hat in the ring.
“This will not be a coronation. And there are a number of candidates already out there talking about it, that are interested in doing it from different regions of the country, different back grounds, different demographics,” he said. “We just need to sift through and see who exactly that’s going to be. But there will be a challenge and I think it’s appropriate for the Democrats to have this discussion and you know we’ll see how it plays out.”
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