Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Youngstown) visited Akron on Monday to speak to Akron Press Club, and brought with him some stark warnings about the state of America.
Ryan said Americans need to start listening to one another in order to heal and strengthen the country. Ryan said politicians need to recognize that otherwise, Russia and China will grow stronger while the U.S. loses ground.
"We don’t come together, we don’t heal the wounds of the country, we're going nowhere,” Ryan said. “That’s the stark reality of this, and it concerns me deeply as it should concern you. Because it’s about our kids. Is this what we’re going to leave our kids, this mess?"
Ryan says 51 percent of public school students live in poverty, while income inequality is the highest since the Great Depression. In the meantime, he says, China is making strides on a 100-year plan that includes an emphasis on industries like telecommunications, aerospace and artificial intelligence.
Ryan has been mentioned as a potential presidential contender, and told the crowd he's thinking about joining the race, especially after Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) dropped out.
“I’m looking very, very closely at it,” Ryan said. “When Sherrod Brown decided not to run, I started to look a little closer at it. Because I felt like Sherrod was talking about the issues many of us were concerned about.”
The 17-year Democratic congressman represents the 13th District, which extends from Akron to Youngstown. Ryan would join an already crowded field of more than a dozen Democrats with White House ambitions.