Wisconsin ironworker and now congressional candidate Randy Bryce is the embodiment of the "forgotten men and women" Donald Trump and the GOP only pretend to care about.
Randy Bryce is an ironworker, a father, a son, a cancer survivor, a military veteran, a union member, and a Democrat.
And he’s running for Congress in Wisconsin to unseat Republican Speaker Paul Ryan.
DONALD TRUMP: Paul Ryan, come up and say a few words and congratulations on a job well-done.
PAUL RYAN: This is repealing and replacing Obamacare. Everybody doesn’t get what they want.
MOTHER: It’s a very painful condition. It’s like hot knives going through and you can’t talk. You can’t swallow. It’s terrible. I’m going to cry – I’m on 20 drugs, and, if I don’t take the one that costs them thousands of dollars, I don’t know what would happen. [To son, Bryce] You have to give me a better hug.
BRYCE: My mom is probably the most important person in my life. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. There’s no doubt in my mind that there are thousands of people like her that don’t have what she has.
The system is extremely flawed. I work every day so that me and my son have insurance. I’ve been an ironworker for 20 years. I work hard, and I earn every penny that I make. And I know everybody that I work with is the same way. And I’ve spent my entire life in southeastern Wisconsin. I can see what people need. I could do so much more — and I will do so much more — taking my voice, taking our voice, and what we need to Washington, D.C.
I decided to run for office because not everybody is seated at the table, and it’s time to make a bigger table. I’m the best person to represent this district because I’m a working person. If somebody falls behind, we’re so much stronger if we carry them with us. That’s the way I was raised: We look out for each other.
I think it’s time, let’s trade places: Paul Ryan, you can come work the iron, and I’ll go to D.C. We can do so much better together as a community. And our future depends on it.
A lifelong resident of southeastern Wisconsin, Bryce could not present a more stark contrast House speaker who was first elected to Congress when he was 29 and has been in D.C. ever since.
Bryce grew up in a home with working-class parents and attended public schools in Wisconsin. His brother is a police officer, and his sister is a public school teacher. Bryce credits the stability of his union job with his ability to lift his family into the middle class and has served as a political coordinator for his Ironworkers Local 8 union.
In the statement announcing his campaign, Bryce did not mince words addressing the hypocrisy and cruelty of the Republican agenda, especially when it comes to health care:
What Paul Ryan and the Republicans are doing to take health care away from millions of us, to make it cost more and cover less, and to allow the protections we’ve gained to be stripped away – it’s just unacceptable. Every American deserves a good-paying job, health care security, and the ability to have hard work pay off. …
I will fight every day for regular people like myself, to build a strong democracy, a strong economy, and a strong America.
Bryce is the embodiment of the “forgotten men and women” Trump, Ryan, and the rest of their fellow Republicans only pretend to care about while pushing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
Bryce undoubtedly has a steep hill to climb against the man who easily won re-election with 65 percent of the vote in 2016. But Ryan is leading a deeply unpopular Republican-controlled Congress, and he has been hiding from his constituents and refusing to hold town halls, apparently too afraid to face the voters whose health care he wants to take away.
Bryce could be exactly the kind of blue-collar voice those voters will want if Ryan and his fellow Republicans succeed in their mission to undo Obamacare.