A '$1.50' deleted tweet by House Speaker Paul Ryan just raised his Democratic challenger more than $150,000

Key Points
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan deleted a tweet in which he highlighted a woman getting an extra $1.50 per week in pay because of the Republican tax bill.
  • Ryan's Democratic challenger Randy Bryce launched a fundraising effort off the widely derided tweet.
  • Bryce raised more than $150,000 in overwhelmingly small donations in the 48 hours after Ryan's tweet.
Ryan helped his challenger raise more than $150,000
Ryan helped his challenger raise more than $150,000

One inexpensive — and quickly deleted — tweet by House Speaker Paul Ryan is raising a whole bunch of donations for his Democratic challenger.

Ryan, R-Wisc., was hit with a quick Twitter backlash Saturday after highlighting a news story in which a public school secretary said she was taking home a whopping $1.50 extra per week because of the recently passed Republican tax bill.

Ryan, in a tweet, noted that the woman had said she was "pleasantly surprised" by her extra pay, which "will more than cover her Costco membership for the year."

Randy Bryce, a Wisconsin ironworker and Democrat who is seeking to unseat Ryan this fall, promptly jumped on the speaker's tweet with one of his own that pointed out the tax bill's much, much larger windfall for two leading Republican billionaire donors.


Other Twitter users lashed out, making fun of Ryan for what they considered his tone-deaf tweet about the relatively small amount of money the woman was getting from the tax bill.


Ryan quickly deleted his tweet. That act, in turn, drew derision from a number of people, including Bryce, who began fundraising off it.


In the 48 hours after Bryce's tweet, his campaign had collected $151,850.80 in donations, his spokeswoman, Lauren Hitt, told CNBC on Monday.

There were 12,253 individual donations for an average contribution of $12.39. And there were nearly 5,800 donations in the amount of $1.50.

Hitt said that more than $49,000 was pledged in recurring donations that will continue through the election.

Hitt said that Ryan's tweet "hit such a huge core with people because of feelings they already had about the tax plan."

"The immediate backlash was pretty strong," she noted.

Ryan's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

Politico, in an earlier story about the fundraising effort, noted that Bryce remains well short of Ryan in cash on hand.

Ryan has $9.6 million available for his campaign, while Bryce has $1.3 million, Politico reported.