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Tipsheet

Tim Ryan Raises Eyebrows With Language of Having to 'Kill and Confront Movement' of 'Extremist' Republicans

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

While Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) likes to portray himself as someone willing to buck his party as he seeks higher office, recent remarks show he's very much still in line with President Joe Biden when it comes to his rhetoric. The congressman, who is running against JD Vance to replace retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), called into "Morning Joe" on Tuesday, at which point he declared we have to "kill and confront that movement" of so-called "extremist Republicans."

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Ironically enough, such a comment came as an aside from Ryan as he was trying to play up his supposed bonafides of someone who is willing to work with members from either side of the aisle. 

"Democrats aren't right on everything," he acknowledged, "and I'm willing to sit down and have conversations about how we can move out of this the of stupidity and into an age of reconciliation and reform. How do we fix all of these broken systems? Some of those answers will come from Republicans," Ryan also pointed out. He then effectively undermined everything he had just said, though, when he clarified "not the extremists that we're dealing with every day," and even immediately added "we've got to kill and confront that movement."

Ryan then casually continued, making it clear he meant "working with" those whom he sees as "normal, mainstream Republicans." 

Biden had seared in Americans' minds what he thinks of his political opponents. He memorably described them as "MAGA Republicans," a term he emphasized throughout his September 1 speech outside of Independence Hall in Philadelphia when it comes to how they "represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic."

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While Biden has tried to walk back and clarify such language, that hasn't stuck. People still remember the speech, and polls show they don't like it. Biden and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre keep using the term, too. 

Rep. Ryan is right in line with the president in that regard when it comes to what he thinks of his political opponents. 

Vance provided further context to Ryan's comments in his Tuesday appearance on Fox News' "Hannity," with his remarks making Ryan's comments seem all the more newsworthy, considering the congressman "when he runs his scripted TV commercials says that he wants to appeal to Trump voters, that he wants to appeal to the entire state of Ohio." Vance pointed out that "yet when he's unscripted, Sean, he's saying that we need to 'confront and kill' the entire movement," and that "a majority of the people of Ohio of course voted for that movement in 2016 and 2020." He continued by pointing out that Ryan "is a complete fraud." 

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Vance also told Hannity during the nearly five minute interview that "so long as we can tell the truth, Sean, we're going to do just fine in November."

Hannity referred to the race as "critical." It is indeed one to watch. Forecasters consider the race to be "Lean Republican" or "Likely Republican," and Decision Desk HQ also considers the race to be "Lean Republican," giving Vance a 73.2 percent chance of winning. RealClearPolitics has Vance with a lead of 47 percent to Ryan's 44.7 percent. 

Vance will appear at a Save America rally in Youngstown on Saturday with former President Donald Trump who endorsed him in his crowded primary back in April, allowing him to cruise to victory

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