Transcript: Rep. Tim Ryan on "Face the Nation," April 7, 2019

Tim Ryan: "Listening to each other" key to unifying the country

The following is a transcript of the interview with Rep. Tim Ryan that aired Sunday, April 7, 2019, on "Face the Nation."


MARGARET BRENNAN: We're back with Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan who officially announced his presidential bid yesterday.  He joins us this morning from Pittsburgh. Welcome to "Face the Nation."

REPRESENTATIVE TIM RYAN: Thank you.  

MARGARET BRENNAN: You've promised to unify the country, you just heard the possibility of grounds for impeachment in this potential Mueller report disclosure. Would that hurt your attempts to unify the country?

REP. RYAN: Well it's never a pretty process. I hope we can get it behind us. I hope that there is a good deal of transparency. I don't think that's too much to ask, but I think as long as we refocus on the economic problems that are facing most people in the United States that can be a unifying thing. We start listening to- to each other. We start respecting each other. That's going to be most important in unifying the country.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You spoke about, in your launch, the closure of a GM plant, it inspiring your decision to run. Are you promising to bring manufacturing jobs back to the Midwest? Isn't the future more in a service based economy?

REP. RYAN: My focus is going to be on creating an industrial policy in the United States. We are getting our clocks cleaned by China right now when it comes to electric vehicles, when it comes to solar panels, when it comes to additive manufacturing. These are areas that are growing significantly and for electric vehicles there's two million electric vehicle cars now, there's going to be 30 million in 2030. Who's going to make those cars? I want us to be making those cars in the industrial Midwest--

MARGARET BRENNAN: How do you do that?

REP. RYAN: --in America.

MARGARET BRENNAN: With government subsidies?

REP. RYAN: Well it's a public-private partnerships. You sit down with the private sector. You work with the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation. You sit down and you put a long-term strategy together and then you work with the venture capital community, so that the investments are driven into distressed communities. The old coal community, steel communities, rubber and auto communities that have lost jobs the last 30 years, there's been no plan to help those communities at all. That's going to be a priority for me and we're gonna get it done.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So that's a yes to government subsidies?

REP. RYAN: It- well you have tax incentives.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.

REP. RYAN: You have the tax code. You have- yeah the help from- it- it's going to be a public-private partnership. It's not going to be all government, no centralized planning and it's not going to be be all free market, cut taxes for the top 1 percent and hope some crumbs get sprinkled to the Youngstown, Ohios of the world. It's going to be a- a complete, comprehensive strategy on how we dominate these markets, not China.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Former President Barack Obama was speaking in Germany recently over the weekend and said that he's concerned about rigidity. That was the word he used among liberal Democrats who are kind of--

REP. RYAN: Yeah.

MARGARET BRENNAN: --hurting the party arguing amongst themselves was the gist of what he says. Do you agree with him?

REP. RYAN: Sometimes. I mean sometimes that can happen. But as long as we're united on our values- look, we got to make progress. Here is the key: progress. We're going backwards. I'm an old quarterback. Look you got to get first downs, you gotta move the ball down the field if you're going to score and we're going backwards right now. So we've got to find issues we can- we can unify around and pass them--

MARGARET BRENNAN: What's that?

REP. RYAN: --and move the ball down the field.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What is that?

REP. RYAN: Well like for single-payer for example, I've been a supporter of single-payer but I think if we can--

MARGARET BRENNAN: But you also support the Affordable Care Act.

REP. RYAN: I did because that was moving the ball down the field. That was providing more health care for more people, making it more affordable--

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you want both?

REP. RYAN: I'm sorry?

MARGARET BRENNAN: You- you want both options? How does that work?

REP. RYAN: Well when you're sitting there negotiating, I can't negotiate with you right now with the House and the Senate and the White House. But I want more people to have more affordable coverage. I want there to be some kind of public option where middle class people who work hard and pay by the rules can get some help so they're not getting squeezed by the pharmaceutical companies and the health care companies. That's what I want. And so what does that look like after it goes through the process? It ended up with the Affordable Care Act, so I voted for it. But you know what? I also supported the public option in the Affordable Care Act but we couldn't get it done. I'm saying let's move the ball forward. President Trump and the Republicans right now want to kick people off of healthcare. That's going in the wrong direction. So progressives, independents, we need to unify around policies that move the ball down the field and start helping more working class people.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Alright, Congressman Tim Ryan we will watch your campaign in a crowded Democratic field.

REP. RYAN: Thanks for having me.