Tim Ryan endorses Biden despite past campaign trail criticism

In endorsing Joe Biden on Wednesday, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio called the former vice president a “trusted leader” and someone who “will not only be a voice for workers and the middle class" but who "will get things done.”

But when Ryan – who ended his own bid for the Democratic presidential nomination late last month – was running for the White House, the Democrat was much more critical.

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Jabbing at Biden in early September, Ryan made headlines by telling Bloomberg News that he didn’t think the 76-year-old Biden "has the energy" to be president. "You see it almost daily,” he said.

Asked about those comments two days later at the New Hampshire Democratic Party convention, Ryan said, “We have got to have a very crisp, sharp, articulate message for the people going into the fall with Donald Trump….It’s unclear sometimes when he’s (Biden) articulating positions and I’ll leave it at that.”

A few weeks later, speaking with Fox News, the 46-year old Ryan highlighted Biden’s age, saying, “I think a generational change is what we need.”

Biden’s campaign spelled trouble for Ryan ever since the former vice president jumped into the race in late April. Ryan was a center-left candidate who touted his heartland heritage and his ability to connect with the white working-class voters in the Rust Belt who helped elect Trump in 2016  by giving him crucial states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

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But Biden also highlights his working-class roots and his ability to connect with blue-collar voters. And Ryan – struggling to gain traction and failing to make the autumn debate stage – ended his White House bid on Oct. 24.

But even while he was critical of Biden during his campaign for the president, Ryan repeatedly noted that he greatly respected the former vice president.

And in announcing his endorsement on Wednesday, Ryan spotlighted: “I know that Joe will be a voice for the many who are being left behind  — workers losing their jobs to automation, unions fighting for fair wages, small business owners trying to get ahead. Joe knows that working communities built America, and I know that Joe will go to bat for them as an increasingly globalized economy threatens the very work they do.”