Pelosi challenger: I'm 'pulling the fire alarm' because 'house is burning down' and we might 'cease being a national party'
An Ohio congressman who's challenging Nancy Pelosi for the top Democratic position in the House of Representatives this week sounded the alarm about trouble within his own party.
Rep. Tim Ryan, who is hoping to become the next House minority leader, told Fox Business Network that Republican outsider Donald Trump winning the White House is indicative of larger problems within the Democratic Party, which nominated a Washington insider to run for president.
Related: 30 former GOP congressmen who came out against Trump
"The average American, the average working-class American, flipped their middle finger to the establishment," Ryan said. "The Democratic establishment, the Republican establishment, Wall Street, they think everybody is more concerned with the donor class than they are with the working class. And they sent a very strong signal, which is why I got into this race because I'm trying to convince my colleagues, 200 members of our Democratic caucus, that the American people have asked for us to change things and we can't keep going down the same road."
Republicans now control the House, the Senate, and the executive branch. The Democrats' loss of power in government has prompted some panic within the establishment as party officials struggle to piece together how they lost so much support and why.
"I'm pulling the fire alarm right now is what I'm doing in the Democratic Party," Ryan said. "I believe we're in denial of what's happened. I'm pulling the fire alarm because the house is burning down."
Ryan gave a dire warning about the future of the party.
"We better get our act together or we will cease being a national party, we're going to be a regional party that fails to get into the majority and fails to do things on behalf of those working class people that were the backbone of the Democratic Party for so long," he said. "White, black, brown, gay straight, everybody wants economic opportunity and they don't see the Democrats as the party providing that and we'd better get our stuff together."
Pelosi has been the top Democrat in the House for 14 years. Leadership elections will be held Nov. 30.
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