Video footage obtained by The Daily Wire, however, suggests that Ryan is a staunch progressive who has been avoiding discussing the “culture wars” on the campaign trail because these issues “don’t serve us very well in Ohio.”
During a private Zoom meeting with the Cuyahoga Democratic Women’s Caucus, he admitted that he will continue to vote with his progressive Democratic peers on abortion, LGBTQ and trans issues. Ryan did not immediately respond to requests for comment for this story.
“We’re keeping the message very much around economics,” Ryan said during the virtual March meeting. “You know, staying away from the culture wars, which don’t serve us very well in Ohio.”
.@TimRyan was specifically asked whether he will fight for abortion, LGBTQ and trans issues.
His response: "You can count on me to be in the fight…I’m progressive. I’m going to vote that way. I’m going to support you in every way shape and form…You can count on me.” pic.twitter.com/j6S93imUWT
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) August 30, 2022
“You keep mentioning that you’re not about the culture wars and you know you’re talking about these bread-and-butter issues for people,” a woman on the call asked him. “But as a young woman of reproductive age, as someone who identifies as queer and who has a lot of friends in the queer community, I just want to make sure, like, will you be the advocate that we need on abortion rights, the advocate that we need on trans people’s human dignity and their human rights and on gay rights?”
Ryan responded by assuring the woman that he gave a floor speech mere days before on the Women’s Health Protection Act, noting that he heavily supported and voted for the legislation (which would codify a right to an abortion nationwide).
“I’ve been very vocal on these other issues that you mentioned,” he continued. “So you can count on me to be in the fight … I’m progressive. I’m going to vote that way. I’m going to support you in every way, shape, or form … You can count on me.”
The comments do not jive well with the Democratic senatorial candidate’s campaign messaging. In one of his first TV ads during the general election, Ryan warned the audience as he played darts: “You want culture wars? I’m not your guy. You want a fighter for Ohio? I’m all in.”
Polls show Republican candidate JD Vance and Ryan are neck and neck heading into the midterms.
“On TV screens all across Ohio, Tim Ryan plays the part of a moderate Democrat in his campaign commercials,” Vance told The Daily Wire. “In real life, Tim Ryan promises far-left liberals behind closed doors that he’ll be a fighter for the radical woke agenda that’s destroying the fabric of our society. And make no mistake, he has delivered on those promises in the form of his destructive voting record.”
“He has voted for taxpayer-funded late-term abortion, for transgender students to compete in girls’ sports, and he approved tens of millions in funding for programs to indoctrinate America’s youth with toxic, racist propaganda,” the Republican candidate added. “Tim Ryan claims he takes no part in the culture wars, but his record proves that he is the face of woke, radical far-left extremism in Ohio.”
Ryan’s past voting record also indicates that he votes with some of the most radical members of the Democratic Party on culture war legislation.
In addition to his vote for the most pro-abortion legislation the House of Representatives has ever seen, he’s also voted for the Equality Act, legislation that would require that biological males who identify as transgender women be allowed to compete in girls sports.
Ryan voted for President Joe Biden’s “American Rescue Plan” in 2021, legislation that funneled millions into programs teaching children about “racial equity,” anti-racist” education, and “social activism.”
In 2002, Ryan also voted as an Ohio state senator against a bill that would expand the state’s sex offender registry to include sex offenders who were not yet 18. News reports from the time show that he said the bill lacked counseling provisions and would inhibit the rehabilitation of juveniles.
As recently as last week, Ryan would not say whether he supported a single restriction on abortion, insisting that an abortion should be a decision between a woman and her doctor.
Q: "What restrictions, if any, do you believe there should be on abortion?"
OHIO DEMOCRAT TIM RYAN: ……
Q: "So should there be some restrictions?"
Q: "It sounds like you're saying no restriction."
RYAN: "Well…" pic.twitter.com/JTac0jk1qA
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 28, 2022