Tim Ryan Will Entertain Your Conspiracy Theory, Analysis Finds | Catch My Job


The Ohio Senate Democratic candidate has a pattern of being agreeable in campaign interviews

Ohio Senate Democratic Candidate Tim Ryan / Wikimedia Commons

Joseph Simonson • October 24, 2022 4:59 am

During the 2019 appearance on The Breakfast Clubliberal talk show hosted by rapper Charlamagne tha God, Democrat Tim Ryan (Ohio) was asked if he believes in a conspiracy theory about collusion between big food corporations and the pharmaceutical industry.

“You think the food industry and the healthcare industry work hand in hand?” the rapper asked Ryan, explaining his belief that “certain foods make people sick and then the healthcare industry gives them the medicine to treat it.” Another host raised the “Got Milk?” campaign, although it is not clear exactly what he was doing.

But Ryan entertained the ideas. “Yeah, it’s hard to tell what’s going on behind the scenes,” said Ryan. “What I do know is that they make a lot of money.”

The response is part of a pattern for Ryan, who tends to agree with whatever is presented to him. The Washington Free Beacon reported last week that during his first run for Congress in 2002, Ryan promised an interviewer that he would open an investigation into whether the federal government created HIV to kill black people, a baseless conspiracy theory that has to use to fuel anti-Semitic and anti-American sentiment around the world.

However, his tendency to say “yes” to whoever he talks to isn’t just for weird conspiracy theories. The desire to agree has led Ryan to adopt far-reaching positions in interviews on issues ranging from criminal justice to immigration. That’s a problem for Ryan, who now tries to portray himself as moderate. A Free Beacon a review of Ryan’s 20-year career in Congress found a lawmaker on both sides of the issues resulting in an ideologically disjointed record.

Ryan was pressed, for example, during a 2019 interview with the hosts of the far left talk show in The young Turks for being to the right of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.). He replied that it was as liberal as it gets.

“I’ve been on the Medicare for All bill since 2007 … before it was cool,” Ryan said. “People say, ‘He’s a corporate guy.’ I’ve voted against every tax cut … I’m on the Medicare for All bill, right, I’m on the debt-free and free college bill.”

Ryan this year has abandoned almost all of those positions. When it comes to health care, Ryan is ambivalent about what kind of system he supports. Ryan’s Senate campaign website says he supports lowering the Medicare eligibility age and creating a public option. At a campaign stop in March, Ryan said he was no longer interested in “taking away anybody’s health care that they have and they like.”

When it comes to student debt, Ryan now says President Joe Biden’s executive order to forgive hundreds of billions of dollars worth of student debt “sends the wrong message.” His campaign told the Free Beacon earlier this year that he remained consistent on the issue of student loan forgiveness.

On crime, Ryan is telling Ohio voters that he favors boosting police department budgets with federal grant money. But in the midst of his failed presidential bid a few years ago, Ryan called for the release of a million criminals from prison and the elimination of cash bail — two policy proposals absent from his campaign website.

During a 2019 interview with PBS, also while Ryan was running for president, Ryan said he was in “lock-step with all the progressives” on immigration. Footage of a New Hampshire town hall candidate that same year shows Ryan promising a self-described “ACLU voter” that he would pressure local law enforcement groups to end the practice of detaining illegal immigrants who n stop committing crimes.

Ryan’s changing views have become a constant theme of attacks by his Republican opponent, JD Vance, who has portrayed Ryan as an ineffective legislator for Ohio.

“My simple argument is this: that Tim Ryan had his chance,” Vance said at a debate earlier this month. “He has been in office for 20 years. He has passed five pieces of legislation; three of those pieces of legislation were renaming post offices.”

Recent polling shows Vance widening his lead over Ryan. A RealClearPolitics average polls show Ohio voters favoring Vance by 2.3 points. The two will face off in November for the Senate seat held by retiring Rob Portman.


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