Former Rep. Kucinich: Inflation ‘slapping’ Ohio voters in the face
SHANNON LONGWORTH: Let’s turn our attention to Ohio a state that’s been surprisingly competitive for Democrats this year, even if the latest polling indicates they’re less likely to flip it. The state is increasingly red having voted for former President Trump by eight percentage points in 2020. Former Representative Dennis Kucinich joins me now to talk about some of the key races and issues at hand for voters. Let’s start with the Senate. Democratic candidate Representative Tim Ryan said last week that he does not want help from his own national party in this race. Do you think that strategy is going to have an impact?
FORMER REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D-OH): Well, first of all, it should be said and full disclosure, Tim Ryan’s a friend of mine, but what happened is that the National Party cut off his Senate race about six weeks ago. And then Tim said, I don’t want your help. The fact of the matter is, if the party had fully invested, Tim wood would have more of a chance. But right now, I think you’d have to give the edge to JD Vance.
LONGWORTH: Despite a redistricting shake up representative Marcy Kaptur is up in the polls heading into night heading into tomorrow. What would you attribute that to?
KUCINICH: She’s been in Congress for two years. And she’s a house hold word in northwestern Ohio, for sure. And in some other parts of the state, plus, whose seniority I think, at this point, works in favor of her in the race, but this ratio is going to be close by it’s going to depend on turnout. If the Republican turnout is strong on election day, you could see that race becoming very tight.
LONGWORTH: What do you make of them redrawing districts in the eastern part of the state?
KUCINICH: Well, congressional redistricting is a very political thing. It always has been, and frankly, it always will be.
You’re talking about a political system? So how do you take the politics out of a political system? No one’s ever explained that to me. Now, I know a little bit about redistricting, because my district 10 years ago, was chopped up into four or five pieces. And as a result, it was almost impossible for me to win. But in my case, it wasn’t done by the Republicans. It was done by that state Democrats. So you know, you have to keep in mind that the politics of redistricting depends on a lot of things. I think what’s going to happen is this stuff.
Hopefully, you know, in my estimation, Representative Kaptur survives. And I think that will leave Ohio with a total of three, Democratic Representative by the time the night is over, with Republicans having 12.
LONGWORTH: What would you say is the top issue on the minds of voters in Ohio? Is it inflation?
KUCINICH: Inflation, inflation, inflation is the economy. And people have been hurt very bad by high prices. Particularly, you know, when people go to the supermarket, there’s sticker shock going on. They’ve had that experience at the pump. Right now, gasoline or recently, gasoline went back over $4 A gallon in this area. People remember that because every time you go to the store or you go to buy gas, it hits you in the face again, the Democrats are going to pay a price for that. Inflation is a big issue. And then there’s crime, particularly in the cities, it is gone to unprecedented levels, particularly violent crime, and people are having trouble understanding why the system isn’t responsive to try and to make their community safer. And never again, the Democrats are going to be hurt by what the public perceives as a failure to
to adequately address the public concerns about safety.
LONGWORTH: Why do you think that Ohio has become more of a swing state?
KUCINICH: Well, it may not be a swing state after Tuesday. The Republicans under you know under Trump. Trump won Ohio last time by eight points. There has been some polls that would suggest that in a race with President Biden he might win by at least that much. I think that Ohio like every other state is focused on economics. This state took a beating with trade Powell aisle seats by the way that unfortunately started with Democrats, NAFTA as a General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, but then you went to China trade, which also was, was hurtful. I think you have to consider that to a state like Ohio, where steel automotive, aerospace shipping, helped to build America’s strategic industrial base has seen a lot of that slip away. There’s still some, but a lot of it slipped away. And with it have people have either left the state or those that have remained? I have a very bad feeling about policies which have put us in this predicament. And again, I think you’re going to see
a punishment a continuing punishment exacted on upon the Democrats on trade issues.
LONGWORTH: Former Representative Dennis Kucinich, thank you for taking the time to talk to us.
KUCINICH: Thank you very much.
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