After Trump win, Dems in 'denial' and need new leadership, Nancy Pelosi challenger says

People need to see Democrats on their side: Rep. Tim Ryan

After the stunning election of Donald Trump as president, and with Republicans also holding majorities in the House and Senate, it's time for Democrats to "turn the page" and look to a new leader on Capitol Hill, Rep. Tim Ryan told CNBC on Monday.

The Ohio Democrat is waging what he admits is an "uphill" battle against former House speaker Nancy Pelosi for her House minority leader post.

"How bad does it have to get?" Ryan asked rhetorically, calling for a change in the economic message to pull disenfranchised voters back into the Democratic Party. Ryan said he has enormous respect for Pelosi, and does not blame her alone for the Republican rout.

Trump won Ohio by 8.5 percent and Democrats hold just four of the 16 of the state's congressional seats, the lowest number since 1947.

Ryan, a member of the House Budget and Appropriations committees, said Democrats did not focus enough on pocketbook issues, such as how to create opportunities for minimum-wage earners to help them transition to higher paying positions.

As co-chairman of the Congressional Manufacturing Caucus, Ryan said fostering advanced manufacturing jobs can help drive that transition for many Americans.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter Morning Squawk

CNBC's before the bell news roundup
Get this delivered to your inbox, and more info about about our products and services.
By signing up for newsletters, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

— NBC News contributed to this report.