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Brown visits Iowa as part of ‘Dignity of Work’ tour

Senator weighing 2020 presidential run

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, made his first visit to one of the early caucus states for his party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

Brown, who says he is contemplating a run for president, made a stop in Iowa on Thursday, as part of what he is calling the “Dignity of Work” tour, which kicked off earlier this week in his hometown of Cleveland.

According to the Des Moines Register, Brown spoke with local Democrats in Cresco as part of a meet and greet event.

Brown urged his party to take up working class issues to be more competitive in facing Donald Trump in 2020.

“Democrats simply aren’t talking to working class families,” The Register reported Brown as saying. “It’s almost like this view that you either talk to the progressive base to excite them or you talk to working class families and you hear about their families and their problems. And no, you’ve got to do both.”

Brown said communities such as Cresco are often overlooked by elected officials and those with economic power.

“Wall Street just totally ignores communities like this and so, too often, does state and national government.,” Brown told the room. “So we chose to come here.”

Brown’s tour will continue through other early voting states in coming days.

Brown, who was first elected to the Senate in 2008, won re-election to a third term in November. He was considered on the short list for Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential pick in 2016.

Analysts have said his win in a swing state that Trump carried in the last presidential election could help Democrats win the Rust Belt states Democrats needed for an electoral college majority.

Ohio’s Republican party weighed in on Brown’s move, with it communications director, Mandi Merritt, issuing a statement.

“As Sherrod Brown takes his phony pro-workers’ agenda to the early primary states, he risks abandoning his own Ohio constituents,” Merritt said.  “Ohio didn’t sign up for a part-time Senator, and by partaking in the Democrats’ turbocharged race to the left, Brown is bound to leave Ohio voters in the dust.”

Brown has said he and his family are weighing options for 2020 and hope to make a decision by March.