Paul Ryan set to run ads defending his budget plan ... in Iowa

“The DNC is attacking all of the candidates for their support of my Path to Prosperity budget,” Ryan wrote in an email. “We have to fight back. With your support, I’m planning on launching a counter-attack to educate Iowa voters about the Path to Prosperity and how it’s the only plan currently on the table that saves Medicare.”

The email is the first visible sign by a House or Senate Republican leader to affect the race for the Republican nomination. Ryan didn’t endorse any particular candidate, and sought to bolster the field as a whole in Iowa, the state hosting the first nominating contest of the 2012 cycle.