Our ‘toxic’ brand under Pelosi makes it hard to win

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, says the Democratic Party’s “toxic” brand under House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is making it difficult for their party to connect with voters.

“We’ve got a lot of energy in our base, which is very exciting for a lot of us to see that on the ground,” Ryan told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday morning. “But you’ve got to beat the Republican and you’ve got to carry this very toxic Democratic brand on your back, too. That’s a tough thing to ask a candidate running for Congress.”

His comments come on the heels of a bruising loss in a special election in a Georgia House race — the fourth such loss since President Trump took office. Democrats and Republicans heavily invested in the contest, which became the most expensive House race in U.S. history.

Ryan, who tried unsuccessfully to unseat Pelosi as House minority leader last fall, said that despite President Trump’s sinking approval rating, “it will be very hard” for Democrats to win back the majority in the House during the 2018 midterm elections with Pelosi in charge.

“It’s going to be more challenging, certainly,” Ryan said. “You see these commercials that tie these candidates to Leader Pelosi week in and week out in the last several months. That still moves the needle.”

Pelosi is fending off calls from some House colleagues to step aside. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

“We can do it because it’s Donald Trump,” he continued. “But I mean, you think, what if it was John Kasich? What if it was Marco Rubio? I mean, we would be in real trouble right now as a party, and we can’t forget that fact.”

In an interview with the New York Times, Ryan put it another way.

“Our brand is worse than Trump,” he said.

According to a Quinnipiac poll released last month, Trump had a net favorability rating of negative 22 points. Pelosi’s net favorability rating? Negative 20 points.

On Wednesday night, Ryan told CNN’s Don Lemon that it’s clear the…

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