Tim Ryan defends presidential campaign focus on economy

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John Ryan2020 Democrat: Harriet Tubman will be on 'within the first year of my presidency' 2020 Democrat: Harriet Tubman will be on 'within the first year of my presidency' Democratic presidential hopefuls react to debate placement MORE (D-Ohio) on Sunday defended the focus of his 2020 presidential campaign on economic issues, saying that many Americans are tired of "just getting by."

"This Week" host George Stephanopoulos asked Ryan during an interview on ABC whether campaigning on economic issues will be effective, given that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants MORE has seen sustained job growth and low unemployment rates.

"Well, it's not doing well where I come from and it’s not doing well in a lot of places around the country," Ryan, who announced his White House bid earlier this month, explained.

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"Yes, the unemployment rate’s low, people are working, you know, one, two, three jobs to try to make ends meet.  The average family, 40 to 50 percent of families in the United States can’t withstand a $400 or $500 emergency.

"My campaign and my behavior as president is going to be to rebuild the middle class in the  United States. People are tired of just getting by. They're tired of just surviving. They want to thrive," he continued.

"The unemployment rate is low, the stock market is high, but yet the national stress level is probably as high as it's ever been, the national anxiety level is about as high as it's ever been."

Ryan, an outspoken moderate in the House who once challenged Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a leadership race, has angled much of his campaign toward working-class voters in the Midwestern states that Trump captured in 2016.

He joins a crowded field of Democrats vying for the nomination as one of the three sitting members of the House in the race.