Paul Ryan: ‘We’ve got a good record to run on’

House Speaker stumps for Rep. Costello

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Michael P. Rel­la­han mrel­la­han@dai­ly­lo­cal.com @Ch­escoCourtNews on Twit­ter

UP­PER UWCH­LAN >> At an event held Thurs­day to praise U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello’s work on a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar trans­porta­tion bill, House Speaker Paul Ryan played down any pos­si­ble im­pact on Costello’s re­elec­tion cam­paign stem­ming from re­cent dif­fi­cul­ties of the Trump pres­i­den­tial cam­paign in Penn­syl­va­nia.

“I’m not of­fer­ing him any po­lit­i­cal ad­vice,” said Ryan as he stood along­side Costello, R-6, of West Goshen, in a garage work­shop at J-Tech Inc.’s equip­ment com­plex in Chester Springs near where the Penn­syl­va­nia Turn­pike in­ter­sects Chester County. He was re­spond­ing to a ques­tion as to how he would ad­vise Costello to ap­proach the can­di­dacy of busi­ness­man Don­ald Trump at the top of the GOP ticket, which has faded re­cently. “We have a good record to run on.”

Ac­cord­ing to re­cent po­lit­i­cal polls, Trump now trails Demo­cratic nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton any­where be­tween 4 and 10 per­cent­age points in the state. Prior to the first pres­i­den­tial de­bate held last month, Trump had closed the gap with Clin­ton to within 1 per­cent here. Na­tional re­ports show na­tional Repub­li­can lead­ers con­cerned

"Ryan Costello knows ex­actly what he’s do­ing to get elected be­cause he’s do­ing what the peo­ple sent him to do.” — House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.

about what drag Trump’s stalled cam­paign may have on races like Costello’s in the vote-rich Philadel­phia sub­urbs.

Costello has largely steered clear of Trump in his re-elec­tion cam­paign. Al­though he said he would sup­port the Repub­li­can ticket, he stayed away from the GOP con­ven­tion this past sum­mer at which Trump was nom­i­nated.

But Ryan said he thought Costello would be able to run to vic­tory based not on Trump’s can­di­dacy but on what the fresh­man con­gress­man had done in Wash­ing­ton since be­ing elected in 2014. A prime ex­am­ple is the bi­par­ti­san, $305 bil­lion trans­porta­tion bill signed into law by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama in De­cem­ber, he said.

“Ryan Costello has a great record to run on,” Ryan pro­claimed, as mem­bers of the J-Tech com­pany, which de­pends on high­way road­work for sales of its equip­ment, looked on. “For the first time since the mid1990s, we have long-term in­fra­struc­ture leg­is­la­tion. We are get­ting things done.

“But, more im­por­tantly, in­stead of just com­plain­ing, we are of­fer­ing so­lu­tions,” Ryan added. “Ryan Costello went to Wash­ing­ton to be­come part of the so­lu­tion in­stead of be­ing part of the prob­lem. Ryan Costello knows ex­actly what he’s do­ing to get elected be­cause he’s do­ing what the peo­ple sent him to do.”

Ryan, on the stop in Penn­syl­va­nia that would see him ap­pear in Lan­caster Thurs­day af­ter­noon on be­half of GOP can­di­date Lloyd Smucker, who is cur­rently a state sen­a­tor run­ning for the 16th Con­gres­sional District seat be­ing va­cated by U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts of East Marl­bor­ough, also tried to put Trump’s de­cline in the state polls into per­spec­tive.

“With re­spect to the top of the ticket, I’ve had a few ex­pe­ri­ences with that,” he said. “Th­ese things go up and down. This is go­ing to be a see-saw clear to Nov. 8. I think Mike Pence won (his re­cent de­bate with Tim Kaine) clearly and I think that is go­ing to help.

“Penn­syl­va­nia is a lot like Wis­con­sin,” Ryan said of his home state. “We are a bat­tle­ground, closely di­vided state, and I think you are go­ing to see a closely fought race on the top of the ticket all the way to Elec­tion Day.”

In his re­marks, Costello con­tin­ued to stress a prag­matic ap­proach to his work in Congress rather than an ide­o­log­i­cally driven agenda.

“We are at a very chal­leng­ing time in our coun­try,” he said, af­ter lis­ten­ing to in­tro­duc­tory re­marks from J-Tech Pres­i­dent Scott John­son. “The rea­son I am here to­day is to high­light that when I go down to Wash­ing­ton I am look­ing to get pos­i­tive re­sults. I am run­ning to help and im­prove our com­mu­ni­ties.

“Peo­ple down there are fight­ing back and forth, back and forth,” Costello said. “The agenda that I am run­ning on, the agenda that the Speaker has helped craft with all the team mem­bers in the House Repub­li­can Con­fer­ence is an at­tempt to im­prove this coun­try. We are run­ning on is­sues; we are not run­ning against peo­ple. We run­ning to make Amer­i­can an even greater place to live and work and raise a fam­ily.”

Costello, as a mem­ber of the House Trans­porta­tion and In­fra­struc­ture Com­mit­tee, said the trans­porta­tion bill would pro­vide eco­nomic ben­e­fits for com­pa­nies such as J-Tech, which sells at­ten­u­a­tor trucks that pro­vide safety at high­way road­work sites, as well as qual­ity of life ben­e­fits for the coun­try. About $700 mil­lion of the leg­isla­tive pack­age is des­ig­nated for safety im­prove­ments.

“From a trans­porta­tion per­spec­tive, that bill we passed is go­ing to make our com­mu­ni­ties, our trans­porta­tion net­works right here in Chester County, across the com­mon­wealth, and across this coun­try, safer,” he told those as­sem­bled at the event. “The High­way Safety Im­prove­ment Pro­gram stands for this: Let’s do what works. Let’s lis­ten to feed­back and put fund­ing where it makes a crit­i­cal dif­fer­ence in the lives of or­di­nary Amer­i­cans.

“The more trans­porta­tion projects we have, the more work J-Tech gets be­cause you are keep­ing those who are work­ing on the road­ways safer,” he said.

Costello’s op­po­nent, Demo­crat Mike Par­rish of Wil­lis­town, is­sued a state­ment prior to the event with Ryan crit­i­ciz­ing the size of the trans­porta­tion pack­age, say­ing that more fund­ing was needed to ad­dress in­fra­struc­ture is­sues across the coun­try.

“While I am happy to see trans­porta­tion money flow into our com­mu­nity, due to the fail­ure of ca­reer politi­cians, like my op­po­nent, it is far from enough,” Par­rish said. “The truth is that our in­fra­struc­ture is woe­fully un­der­funded and crum­bling be­fore our eyes. The trans­porta­tion bill my op­po­nent is ask­ing us to cel­e­brate rep­re­sents the min­i­mum that needs to be done, not a bold in­vest­ment in our fu­ture. We can­not ap­plaud ca­reer politi­cians for do­ing the bare min­i­mum.”

Costello’s seat — the 6th Con­gres­sional District — cov­ers parts of Chester, Mont­gomery, Berks and Le­banon coun­ties.

The 16th Con­gres­sional District — the seat Smucker is seek­ing — en­com­passes parts of Chester, Berks and Lan­caster coun­ties. Two other can­di­dates are on the bal­lot for the 16th District seat: Demo­crat Christina Hart­man of the city of Lan­caster, and Lib­er­tar­ian Shawn Pa­trick House of Columbia, Lan­caster County.

PHOTO BY PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

UPS driver Bren­dan Ben­ner takes a selfie with House Speaker Paul Ryan. Ryan was vis­it­ing J-Tech Inc. in Up­per Uwch­lan with U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, R-6, to dis­cuss trans­porta­tion fund­ing. Ben­ner makes reg­u­lar de­liv­er­ies to the com­pany.

Scott John­son, cen­ter right, talks with Ryan and Costello about his Up­per Uwch­lan busi­ness, J-Tech Inc. To the left is his son and em­ployee Con­ner John­son.

Costello, right, speaks with Ryan dur­ing a stop at J-Tech Inc. in Up­per Uwch­lan on Thurs­day.

Costello speaks at J-Tech Inc. on Thurs­day. With him are House Speaker Paul Ryan and busi­ness owner Scott John­son.

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

House Speaker Paul Ryan holds a pam­phlet tout­ing “A Bet­ter Way” for cre­at­ing Amer­i­can jobs dur­ing a stop at J-Tech Inc. in Up­per Uwch­lan on Thurs­day. With him is U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, R-6, and busi­ness owner Scott John­son.

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