WASHINGTON -- Hammering Mitt Romney for his tax havens and offshore bank accounts is pure political "gold" in the swing state of Ohio, a Democratic congressman who represents the state said Wednesday.
Rep. Tim Ryan said highlighting the way that Romney's private equity company Bain Capital drove American jobs overseas, as well as the fact that he has a Swiss bank account and accounts on tropical islands, is killing the GOP hopeful with rustbelt voters.
"No one in Youngstown, Ohio has a Swiss bank account. Or Akron, or Cleveland, or down the Ohio River, or in the Appalachian part of Ohio," Ryan said. "And to think you would make a lot of money offshoring jobs and then put it in a Swiss bank account is really appalling to a lot of people and violates just the basic sense of like, 'How much do you need?' I think that's why you're seeing [polling] numbers move."
Ryan said that the public response to Romney's tax havens and offshore activities rebutted the fears of some "elite" Democrats, such as Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and former President Bill Clinton, who warned Democrats against engaging in class politics.
"Obviously you need capital, obviously you need business, obviously you need big business," Ryan said. "But at what cost, people are saying now. At what cost? Where everyone has to work at minimum wage? And repeal health care?
"So I think it's gone too far -- that's why you're seeing these very high levels of inequality," he added. "Hopefully, there will be an appreciation for speaking to that. And then governing that way too, that your focus is going to be on people in Akron and Youngstown, Ohio, and what can be helpful to their quality of life, not just how many houses in the Hamptons can you have."
Ryan said Democrats needed to make clear to businesses that it was in their best interest to help lift everyone in society up.
"I think the more we tell the business guys, hey, we're all on the same team, and they need to help us. We're not anti-you at all, but it turns out you do do better under the Democrats," he said, joking, "Did I just say that?"