Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan Fires Back at Trump's GM Tweets

March 19, 2019

By Justin Chermol

An Ohio congressman fired back at President Trump on Tuesday for his tweets blaming a local union leader for the closure of a GM plant in his district.

In a tweetstorm on Sunday and Monday, the president took aim at David Green, president of UAW Local 1112, saying he "ought to get his act together and produce," adding: "Stop complaining and get the job done!"

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who represents the district where the GM plant in Lordstown was closed, said the tweets were a "slap in the face."

"He plucks out a local union official to kick him in the teeth, when he's on the front lines of all of this pain, all of this suffering, all of this displacement. That's Trump's style. He is personal, he is mean spirited," he said.

"It's a slap in the face to the 1,700 workers who lost their jobs, their families, many of them have had to move out of this community and take transfers, left their families behind," Ryan said. He added that the ripple effect of the the closure has extended beyond the plant: "We've seen 30 or 40 nurses just out of the one hospital that have had to leave because of the plant closure and the transfers. It's been devastating."

In an interview with Cheddar following President Trump's State of the Union address in February, David Green had blamed the Trump administration for the plant's closure, which was announced by GM in November as part of a plan to cut 15 percent of its workforce and pivot to electric vehicles.

"We've seen nothing but closures since Donald Trump came into office," Green told Cheddar. "And he actually came to Youngstown, and said don't sell your houses. Right? That all of these steel mills are gonna come back to work, but we've seen nothing but job closures and people getting put out of work and people selling their houses."

Green sent two letters to President Trump prior to his State of the Union address.

"We got nothing but crickets from the president," Ryan said. "He has not been engaged."

"We're not saying that this plant closure is his fault," Ryan clarified, although he said he is concerned about the lack of a "robust, national industrial policy in the United States."

But he said the community is looking for help rather than blame and personal attacks.

However, Ryan said GM does shoulder some blame for the hardship in his district.

"I think GM was a little bit asleep at the switch when it comes to these new technologies, and I hope they can leapfrog ahead, and that's why I'm willing to sit down even with the government to figure out how we do it and make sure that production is happening in a place like Lordstown, Ohio."

For full interview click here.