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Wed. 10:20 a.m.: Ryan throws support behind Biden for president

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, a former presidential candidate, this morning announced he will endorse Democrat Joe Biden for president.

Ryan, D-Howland, called the ex-vice president a “trusted leader who has been a champion for working communities throughout his entire career in public service.”

“America needs Joe Biden,” Ryan said in a prepared statement released this morning. He criticized President Donald Trump for “manufactured trade wars … that put profit over people …”

“I know that Joe will be a voice for the many who are being left behind – workers losing their jobs to automation, unions fighting for fair wages, small business owners trying to get ahead. Joe knows that working communities built America, and I know that Joe will go to bat for them as an increasingly globalized economy threatens the very work they do.”

Ryan has been critical of two other frontrunners, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, previously saying the two are “so far left” that neither could beat President Donald Trump.

Ryan’s political allies – former Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras and Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown – also endorsed Biden Oct. 30, six days after Ryan got out of the 2020 presidential race.

Tuesday, Ryan said he was looking for someone who can compete and fits with Northeast Ohio. “I want someone in the White House who understands what we need for the future – and do they have a plan to plug us in.”

He also said he wants a candidate who can help grow the Brite Energy Innovators (formerly the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center) in Warren and the Youngstown Business Incubator and America Makes – National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute – both in Youngstown, as well as provide assistance to the Mahoning Valley.

“We’ve laid the groundwork for the future,” he said. “It’s been piecing it together. I want someone who can put it all together as a detailed program.”

When asked about ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick considering entering the Democratic presidential race, Ryan said, “I think it’s super late to be getting in. I don’t know what they would add to the race. I’m not sure where Bloomberg or Deval would fit in.”

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