Ever since a “sickened” Paul Ryan figuratively washed his hands of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and decided to focus on retaining the party’s House majority, the current speaker has been keeping a low profile. Or at least that was the plan until the Wisconsin representative decided to attack former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders during a question and answer session with Young Republicans in his home state. Unfortunately for Ryan, his comments inadvertently charged Sanders and his supporters to try and fund several Democratic congressional candidates before an FEC deadline goes into effect.
“If we keep control of the Senate in the Republican hands… a nice guy named Mike Enzi from Wyoming is the Senate budget chair and he helps us get these budgets to the president’s desk, gets these tax bills through,” Ryan told the crowd. “If we lose the Senate, do you know who becomes chair of the Senate Budget Committee? A guy named Bernie Sanders. You ever heard of him?”
Per The Nation, Ryan’s attempt at sarcasm was mostly lost on the “tepid” crowd. As they and Vox note, however, the unintended advice wasn’t lost on Sanders and his supporters at all. Hence a tweet posted from the Vermont senator’s campaign account Friday afternoon:
“I heard what @SpeakerRyan said: If the GOP loses the Senate,” Sanders wrote, “I’ll be the Budget chairman. Sounds like a good idea.”
The tweet also provided a link to ActBlue’s website, where Sanders’ team setup a donation landing page for people to contribute money to the senate and house election campaigns of Paul Clements, Catherine Cortez-Masto, Deborah Ross, Zephyr Teachout, Morgan Carroll, Nanette Barragan and Rick Nolan. Contributions will automatically be divided evenly between the seven campaigns listed, though donors may choose to allocate funds differently if desired.