Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio) did not defend his party's new "A Better Deal" slogan on Wednesday when MSNBC's "Morning Joe" hosts mocked it to his face, saying he is not a "real slogan person."
As House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), and other top Democratic lawmakers rolled out the party's new economic agenda on Monday, negative reviews for their call for "better jobs" and "better wages" rolled in from progressives and media members.
"Morning Joe" was among the critical voices; former Republican host Joe Scarborough called it "so terrible," former Democratic congressman Harold Ford Jr. said it missed the mark, and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson dismissed it as lacking emotional resonance.
"I'm curious about the motto or slogan that the Democrats have come up with … A Better Deal," co-host Mika Brzezinski said ruefully.
"Less filling," Scarborough chimed in, referring to the Miller Lite slogan, "Great taste, less filling."
"Tim, it's not good," Brzezinski said.
"I'm not a real slogan person," Ryan said. "I think it's a good first step, because it's an agreement among Democrats that we need to talk about economic issues, and I think that's a good sign. We're going to talk about jobs. We're going to talk about the economy."
Ryan said he wanted to see the party's agenda be more "aspirational" in terms of envisioning how the economy will develop and how working-class Americans can fit into that new order.
Ryan has been a voice of criticism within his own party since the 2016 election, saying the Democratic Party brand was worse than President Donald Trump's. He also mounted a challenge to Pelosi's party leadership last year.
He has acknowledged the party lacks a national leader, although he gave several examples of young, up-and-coming talents among the Democrats when asked about it Wednesday.