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The Senate candidate pushing an ‘Americans First’ message in a new TV ad is a Democrat

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In a new campaign commercial, an Ohio Senate candidate asks the crowd of people he’s addressing whether they’re “tired of getting hammered by inflation?””We’ve gotta take on China, fix our supply chains by making things in America, and we’ve gotta pass a real tax cut for workers to put more money in your pockets,” the candidate emphasizes before stressing that “we can’t afford to be Democrats and Republicans right now. We have to be Americans first.”TIM RYAN JUMPS INTO OHIO’S OPEN SEAT SENATE RACE”Americans first” sounds similar to the “America First” theme that former President Donald Trump hammered home during his 2016 and 2020 presidential election campaigns as he transformed the GOP into what some now view as a populist party. The message has been repeated by countless Republican politicians on the campaign trail across the country.But the candidate in this commercial is a Democrat — longtime Rep. Tim Ryan of northeast Ohio, who’s the front-runner in the Democratic primary in the race to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman.”We’ve got to get serious about lowering costs and actually helping people. And that means both parties need to stop wasting time on stupid fights,” Ryan says in the spot, which is part of his current $3.3 million statewide ad blitz that extends two weeks past Ohio’s May 3 primary.RYAN SAYS IT’S ‘US VERSUS CHINA’ NEW CAMPAIGN COMMERCIALIt’s the second campaign commercial where some may say Ryan sounds like a Republican.In the previous ad, Ryan showcased a muscular approach to U.S.-Chinese relations and called for curbing Beijing’s influence, lamenting that “China is out-manufacturing us left and right” and stressing that “America can never be dependent on communist China.”That commercial received some blow back from Democratic groups promoting Asian American issues, who compared it to what they called tactics of inciting fear and hate used by Trump and other Republicans amid the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China.But Ryan — a center-left politician who has long showcased his heartland heritage and his ability to connect with the White working-class voters in the Rust Belt and who’s spotlighted his efforts to champion workers and their jobs — pushed back against the criticism.THE LATEST FOX NEWS POLL IN OHIO’S CROWDED AND COMPETITIVE GOP SENATE PRIMARY”I’ve spent my entire career sounding the alarm on China,” Ryan said earlier this month. “Ohio workers are the best in the world, and I will never apologize for doing everything in my power to take on China and fight for all Ohioans.”Ohio was once one of the top general election battleground states in the nation. But Trump made major gains in Ohio pushing his populist “America First” message, carrying the state by eight points in his 2016 presidential election victory and in his 2020 reelection defeat.
Senate Democratic candidate Rep. Tim Ryan answers a question during Ohio’s Senate Democratic Primary Debate on Monday, March 28, 2022 at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. 
(Joshua A. Bickel/The Columbus Dispatch via AP, Pool)Justin Barasky, a veteran strategist who managed Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio’s successful 2018 reelection campaign and who’s consulting for Ryan’s 2022 Senate bid, told Fox News that economy and inflation is a campaign issue for every voter.”I think workers of all stripes, whether the Democrats or Republicans, or independents, they’re focused on inflation. They need some help. They want to see costs lower,” Barasky said.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPBut he painted a contrast between Trump’s “America First” message that was pushed by the GOP and what Ryan is preaching on the campaign trail.”I think the big difference is when Tim says ‘we can’t afford to be Democrats and Republicans right now. We have to be Americans first,’ he’s talking about moving past the partisan fights that are holding our country back and our workers back,” Barasky said. “If we put party politics aside, then we can do the things that Tim’s talking about.”

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