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2020 hopeful Tim Ryan knocks Biden's comments on China: 'Stunningly out of touch'

2020 hopeful Tim Ryan knocks Biden's comments on China: 'Stunningly out of touch'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanHouse Democrats introduce bill to invest 0 billion in STEM research and education Now's the time to make 'Social Emotional Learning' a national priority Mourners gather outside Supreme Court after passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg MORE (D-Ohio) on Sunday knocked 2020 presidential rival Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE's comments about China, calling the former vice president's assertion that China is "not competition" for the U.S. "stunningly out of touch." 

"I actually think that's stunning," Ryan said during an interview with CNN. "And I love Joe Biden. But I think that's stunningly out of touch with where we are right now." 

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Biden, has been facing criticism since saying at a campaign stop last week, "China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man ... Guess what? They’re not competition for us."

Ryan told CNN's Van Jones that he believes China poses a looming threat to the U.S., noting China's dominance in the solar power and electric car industries.

"They're putting billions of dollars behind these projects, and they have a 100-year plan," Ryan said. "We're in a 24-hour news cycle. And they're winning, and that's the urgency that I'm bringing to this race." 

The Ohio Democrat said U.S.-China relations will be critical to the growth of the U.S. economy. 

"I think it's going to be about, who's the president that's going to allow us and help us dominate electric vehicles?" Ryan said. "Who's going to steer that investment in the communities of color, into the Youngstown, Ohios, and Akron, Ohios, and Gary, Indianas, of the world that have been unplugged from any benefits of globalization for the last 30 or 40 years?"

Ryan also said he is promoting "reform" in his campaign, rather than a return to "normalcy." 

"I think we need reform," Ryan said, when Jones asked him whether he considers himself more similar to candidates such as Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks What's behind the divisions over Biden's secretary of Labor? Alito to far-right litigants: The buffet is open MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks What's behind the divisions over Biden's secretary of Labor? Young voters set turnout record, aiding Biden win MORE (I-Vt.), who are calling to shake up the system, or Biden, who is calling for a "return to normalcy." 

Ryan has presented himself as a "Rust Belt" candidate since launching last month, promoting an agenda built around manufacturing and trade.