Rep. Tim Ryan (D., Ohio) said Monday afternoon that Democrats lost their status as a national party after a poor showing in the elections on Nov. 8.
The congressman, who is now challenging Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) for her position as House minority leader, said that Democrats have their lowest number of elected officials on the state and federal levels since the Civil War.
"Why do you believe Pelosi's leadership has failed in this regard, and why don't you believe that she can continue to do so or try to do so going forward?" MSNBC's Katy Tur asked Ryan.
Ryan said that Democrats have their fewest members in Congress since 1929, asserting that they must make a change if they want to be more competitive nationally.
"We're at the point now where we are not even a national party at this point," Ryan said. "We have some support on the coast, but we lost the support of Middle America."
After Ryan presented the situation the Democratic Party faces, Tur asked Ryan how he plans to compete in the 2018 midterm elections and whether he believes the party can win back a majority in the House.
"I think I can be that strong leader to take us into the majority because I can go into any congressional district in the entire country and persuade voters to come our way and help define that national message," Ryan told Tur.
Ryan stressed that Democrats must make changes to their leadership now so that they have the time to recuperate from their losses in 2016 to compete more competitively in the 2018 midterm elections.
"That means new leadership, some new energy, some new faces we need to lift up our caucus and send them out throughout the country campaigning. We need to develop a new Democratic Party," Ryan said. "Right now, our party is in denial of what happened last Tuesday."