House Dems move quickly to fundraise off Paul Ryan selection

That didn’t take long. 

Democrats all across Capitol Hill moved at warp speed Saturday in their attempt to both define Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Mitt Romney’s new running mate, and fundraise off his selection. 

House Democrats waited about an hour after the presumptive GOP nominee officially chose Ryan to fire off a fundraising email, and quickly followed that up by sending releases to dozens of House Republican districts.

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On the other side of the Rotunda, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) also swiftly joined the party, saying Romney’s choice of Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, showed Republicans were more worried about placating the Tea Party than helping the middle-class.

The Democratic reaction underscores that Ryan’s choice seems to have excited leading figures on both sides of the aisle. Conservatives have been urging Romney to choose Ryan, calling the Wisconsin Republican a bold choice who best crystallizes the choices voters have this year.

Democrats, for their part, say the choice of Ryan will bring even more attention to the budgets the Wisconsin Republican has crafted in recent years, which make controversial changes to Medicare and cut spending by $5 trillion overall. 

As House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) put it on Twitter on Saturday, “Paul Ryan's budget ends the Medicare guarantee and shift costs to seniors simply to give tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans.”

At the House Democrats’ campaign arm, Robby Mook cited polling showing that less than half of Americans had an opinion about Ryan, and said the party had to move quickly to inform voters about the Ryan’s proposals.

“Yeah – THAT Paul Ryan,” Mook, the executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, wrote in an email to supporters. “The architect of the Republican plan to kill Medicare.”

In the message, Mook also suggests that Democrats will not be able to compete financially with Republicans and other conservative groups, a line of thinking that President Obama has also pushed in fundraising requests.

“We might not be able to out-spend Romney and the Koch Brothers but we have to reach every last voter we can,” Mook wrote.

The DCCC later sent out releases declaring that GOP candidates were now saddled with Ryan and his budget as a running mate. 

“No matter how hard House Republicans like Congressman John Kline may try to run and hide, he can no longer cover up his budget that would deeply cut Medicare so he can give tax breaks to millionaires, Big Oil, and companies shipping jobs overseas,” Jesse Ferguson, a DCCC spokesman, said in a statement sent to the Minnesota Republican’s district. 

For his part, Reid said in a Saturday statement that “the months ahead will provide Americans with a clear choice between the Romney-Ryan plan to gut Social Security and Medicare, and Democrats' balanced approach to deficit reduction that combines smart spending cuts with asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share.”

This story was updated at 12: 15 p.m.