Remarks Announcing Candidacy for President in Youngstown, Ohio
I'm Tim Ryan, and I'm running for president of the United States of America. You know at the end of the day, I'm a kid from Niles, Ohio. And the beautiful thing about Ohio is that you don't just get raised by your parents. You get raised by the community. And so, I'm here because of the coaches in Niles Little League, the teachers at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the teachers at Kennedy High School.
It was a community effort to raise a kid. And I believe that that's what we need to get back to in the United States of America. Where it's OK for us to say, 'I care about you, I love you, and I want to help you and I'm gonna do everything in my power to help you do what you have to do.'
We stand here today on April 6, 2019, a divided country. And we've been divided for a long time. And that division has prevented us from being able to be the best that we could possibly be.
And we can go back to the stories of Black Monday in Youngstown, that many people in this audience remember much better than I do. And I do think of my father-in-law who lost his job that day, or days after that, years after that, because of what happened on Black Monday. And I can go back 20 years and remember my cousin, Donnie Guerra, calling me on the phone saying, 'You're never gonna believe what I had to do today. It was my last day at Delphi. I had to unbolt the machine from the factory floor. I had to put it in a box and I had to ship it to China.' Or we can go back just a few weeks ago and talk about what happened at Lordstown.
Things go up and things go down, but if we're not united we are not gonna be able to fix these structural problems that we have in the United States. And I'm running for president, to first and foremost try to bring this country back together. Because a divided country is a weak country, and we have politicians and leaders in America today that want to divide us. They want to put us in one box or the other.
You can't be for business and for labor, you can't be for border security and immigration reform, you can't be for cities and rural America, you can't be for the North and the South, you can't be for men and women. I'm tired of having to choose. I want us to come together as a country. I want us to cease the future of this country. We are a great country. And we can do it, we can do it if we come together.
And I just want you to know this one thing: The competition that we are in to today is fierce, and we don't need a super star, and we don't need a savior. We need to come together and we need grit and determination and the ability for us to work together for a better future, not just for us, but for our kids. That's what this is all about.
And I will say that I will pledge to you every time I walk downstairs and into the Oval Office that you, and your needs, and your concerns, and your worries will be my worries. They'll be my worries. And I will work every single day – every single day – to make your life better. I'm gonna ask you to work hard every single day too to make your life better. But the problem today is so many people work hard and play by the rules and just still can't get ahead. They still can't get health care, they still can't get the job they need, they still can't move into the neighborhood or the school district that they want to be in. That's our problem. That's our concern together. And that's what this campaign is all about.
We have three kids and two dogs, so you can imagine how much energy is flyin' through the house at any one moment, especially first thing in the morning. But a few years back now, something happened in the house where I actually got control of the TV remote. And what do you do if you're an old quarterback from around Youngstown, Ohio? You start flippin' through the TV stations to try and find some sports.
So, I don't find sports but I find a sports documentary. And the documentary was on Jimmy Valvano. Remember Jimmy V? So, I'm half Italian, so this is my guy, right? So, I'm watchin' Jimmy V. And he said something that I'll never forget. He said, 'Every day, in so many different ways, ordinary people do extraordinary things.'
Ordinary people do extraordinary things. And I will tell you that if there is one value that I will bring to the highest office in the land, when I wake up, it's gonna be: How today, can I use every ounce of power that this office has to help ordinary people do something extraordinary today in America. That's my pledge to you.
Why do we want to fix the education system? So we can give an ordinary kid from a place like Niles, or Campbell or Struthers to do something extraordinary. Why do we want everyone to have health care in the United States? It's a value, it's a right, it's important, it's something that we should all be able to agree upon. But if you're not healthy, you cannot do anything extraordinary to contribute to what we need to contribute to in the United States of America. That's why everyone deserves health care in the United States of America.
And when you talk about reinvesting in communities like ours, which I have spent the last 19 years of my public life trying to do. Trying to make sure that communities like ours aren't forgotten. The fly over states are my states, the fly over states are your states, and the fly over states are gonna start governing in the United States of America again.
We have so much work to do. We have so much work to do. We have broken systems in our country that we've failed to fix because we're divided.
And I want you to know that our enemies come into our social media and they intentionally try to divide us. If there is an incident in America that's controversial – about kneeling for the national anthem, or there's a school shooting, or there's an incident between a cop and a kid – you know who comes on to our social media? The Russians.
They come in to our social media and they spin things to get us into these divided camps so that we're fighting with each other. That's what they want. And meanwhile we can't get our economy going. Meanwhile, we can't get a health care system that works.
Meanwhile, we can't reform an old outdated government that needs reform. Or education, or anything else because we have not come together.
The most patriotic thing we could do today is to respect each other. To care about each other, to respect each other, to listen to each other. That maybe somebody else has something to offer that you hadn't thought of. And I want to build a government in the United States that allows us to pull Democrats and Independents and Republicans together.
I will be sitting down with the business community in the United States and the workers and the labor unions in the United States. We all have to get better. We all have to get better if we're gonna solve these big problems. We all have to. And it's gonna take all of us. White, black, brown, gay, straight, North, South. We're all Americans in this great experiment in democracy. Each generation has the duty to grab the mantel and do something great with it.
There's an old saying that politicians and presidents, they don't have power – they hold power. They hold the power that the people of the United States give them. And I want to hold that power for four years. And I want to bring the experiences that I've had in this community, from the schools that I went to, to the coaches that I had, to the teachers that I had, to the family that I had. And just maybe, just maybe, the person that can help heal these wounds is a working-class kid from a working-class family from a working-class community, that will go work his rear end off for the American people.
Let me just say, in closing, to all of you. I thank you, I love you. And I don't say that gratuitously. I love you. I'm not standing here without you loving me and me loving you, and I have loved the opportunity that you have given me and I will tell you, I will go to work every single day and we're gonna get this country squared away. OK?
We are not – and I want you to agree with this – we are not gonna let fear determine how we move into the future in the United States anymore. We're not gonna allow leaders to pit us against each other and while we're fightin' we can't get anything done and none of us move forward. Tell me you're gonna join together with me to do that.
There's a great story about the champ Mohammed Ali that I want to end with. So, somebody went to see the Champ and bumped into him as he was walkin' down the street in Kentucky. It was a little kid and he said, 'Champ, champ, I saw one of your fights!' And he says, 'Oh, that's great. No kidding.' He said, 'My dad took me to watch you fight!' He said, 'No kidding.' He said, 'Yeah, you got knocked down!' Champ looked at him and said, 'It wasn't my fight.' He said, 'No, my dad – it was one of the great moments of my life. He took – he's my dad – we went, but you got knocked down. I think the third or fourth round, you got knocked down.' He goes, 'It wasn't my fight.' Ali looked at this kid and he said, 'I've never been knocked down. I'm either up, or I'm gettin' up, OK?'
The Mahoning Valley is either up, or we're gettin' up. Northeast Ohio is either up, or we're gettin' up. Ohio is either up, or we're gettin' up. And the United States of America, we're either up or we're gettin' up.
Help me do this. I need your help. I need your support. I need your love. I need your voice. Let's go take back the White House.
Tim Ryan, Remarks Announcing Candidacy for President in Youngstown, Ohio Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/365447