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Public Statements

MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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Joining me now is Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan. Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. Appreciate your time.

What is going on here? You`re somewhat -- and other federal representatives after somewhat at the mercy of Kasich`s decision, are you not?

REP. TIM RYAN (D), OHIO: Well, the governor needs to ask for help. And it`s not just me. It`s even conservative Republicans like Jean Schmidt in southwest Ohio, who is probably one of the most conservative people in the House of Representatives, saying governor, get on the stick here; we have people that are hurting.

So yeah, we need -- we need to be asked by the sitting governor.

SCHULTZ: Well, this just in, we just received word late today that Governor Kasich`s reconsidered his decision and has asked FEMA to respond. What do you make of it?

RYAN: Well, I mean, the bottom line is leaders are paid to make those decisions when the time is presented. And he completely dropped the ball. How could you be in an area where citizens of your state have gotten
killed, where there has been hundreds of homes and businesses that were damaged, and your first instinct isn`t to ask for all the help possible?

Last I checked, Ohio was in the United States of America. Ohioans pay taxes to the federal government. And in times like these, Indiana is going to get some help. Kentucky is going to get some help. But yet Ohio`s
going to sit there and say, well, we`re going to handle it.

Meanwhile, in Ohio, teachers, police, fire all getting laid off. And yet we get an opportunity to get some federal help and he doesn`t take it. But this is -- this is consistent with his behavior.

SCHULTZ: Well, it`s very strange behavior, because there`s one of two things here. Number one, he didn`t know how bad it was. Or number two, he`s putting his political ideology ahead of helping people who pay federal taxes. I have never heard of a governor, where there is death and destruction into the millions, say no, we`re not going to take the federal help; we`re not going to do that. It`s outrageous.

RYAN: Yes, it`s mind-boggling. As that one constituent down there in Claremont County said, it`s just mind boggling. You think of anybody, whether they`re in a leadership position or not, your first instinct is how
do we get help to these people?

And to come out, and with the level of bravado -- we`re looking in 2012, Ed, for some mature leadership. We`re not seeing it in the Republican primaries. We`re not seeing it with the governor here in Ohio.

You`re in an emergency situation. Take an assessment of the landscape, look around, see what is going on, and then make a decision.

But to go down after this happened Friday night, and to go down on Saturday, just several hours later, and say no, we don`t need anybody`s help, there is a level of arrogance there we don`t see very often.

SCHULTZ: I was waiting for Governor Kasich to talk about offsets. You know how the Republicans are famous about taking money. But we have to have offsets here. So we have to go after the big three if we`re going to help out people who have been hit by a tornado.

Before you go, I want to ask you about Super Tuesday. Mitt Romney seems to be somewhat of a slight surge in Ohio. Number one, what is your pulse in Ohio?

RYAN: I think Romney, at the end of the day, he takes it. It won`t be a big advantage. They`ll probably end up splitting the delegates. But the big winner is going to be Barack Obama. You know, they are running
around Ohio saying the same insane kind of comments that they were saying in Michigan about the auto industry.

And someone asked Romney today about how he is going to help him go to college. He said, don`t count on the government to help you. You know, join the military.

Those kind of phrases in Ohio, where people are just trying to get a hand up, not a hand out, aren`t really helpful, And so Barack Obama is going to be the big winner in the Ohio primary tomorrow.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio, good to have you with us tonight.

RYAN: Always a pleasure, Ed.

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