Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan tried to scare voters into helping the GOP, but he ended up helping raise $2.4 million for Democrats instead, Sen. Bernie Sanders reported. 

At a recent event with College Republicans in Wisconsin, Ryan warned his audience about the consequences if his party loses the Senate.  "If we lose the Senate, do you know who becomes chair of the Senate Budget Committee?" he asked. "A guy named Bernie Sanders. You ever heard of him?"

That attempted scare tactic backfired once Sanders' office heard the quote and quickly re-purposed it into a fundraising pitch, trying to turn Ryan's nightmare scenario into a dream for Sanders supporters.

Last week, while asking for donations for Democratic House and Senate candidates, Sanders wrote:

“I heard what Paul Ryan said about me: that if the Republicans lose the Senate, I will be the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

That sounds like a very good idea to me. It means that we can establish priorities for working people, and not just the billionaire class.

What would be equally exciting is if the Democrats took back the House, and Congressman Ryan was no longer Speaker. That would mean the clearest possible path to enact our agenda – the most progressive agenda of any party in American history.”

Donations started to pour in for Democratic House and Senate candidates, with over 500,000 contributors. Sanders announced the $2.4 million figure on Monday in a post on his website, adding that the money was raised in just 72 hours.

Ryan responded to the Democratic fundraising deluge by sending out an email imploring people to donate to his side in response: "I spoke last week about what would happen if we lose our majority in Congress. It looks like Bernie Sanders was listening, because a staffer showed me the message he sent to his supporters yesterday.... Read it and find out why it is so important to hold the House and Senate this November."

Sanders asked donors to give their thanks to Ryan by hashtagging #ThanksPaul with stinging premade tweets like: "I don’t like Paul Ryan’s ideas, but making @BernieSanders chair of the Budget Committee is a good one. #ThanksPaul" and "Paul Ryan helped raise more 💰 for Democrats last Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday than he did for Republicans in July, August, Sept. #ThanksPaul."

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