August 14th, 2009
07:23 PM ET
5 years ago

Senators battle over health care on Twitter turf

 Senator Grassley goes after Senator Specter on his Twitter account.
Senator Grassley goes after Senator Specter on his Twitter account.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Political rivals are turning up the heat on Twitter - even if they've only got 140 characters to work with.

The latest Twit-fight came Friday, when Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter (D) and Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) exchanged jabs on the social networking site.

It started around 1:00 p.m. ET when @SenArlenSpecter tweeted, "Called Senator Grassley to tell him to stop speading myths about health care reform and imaginary 'death panels.'" This was followed up with "Had to leave a message - for now. I will talk to him soon."

@ChuckGrassley was quick to respond: "Specter got it all wrong that I ever used words 'death boards'. Even liberal press never accused me of that. So change ur last Tweet Arlen."

The back-and-forth was sparked by Grassley's remark at a town hall in Iowa earlier this week, when the Senator told the audience: "We should not have a government program that determines if you're going to pull the plug on Grandma." Grassley did not use the term "death boards" or "death panels."

Currently, Specter has slightly over 4,000 followers on his Twitter account and Grassley has more than 15,000 followers.

In the past, politicians might have reserved their toughest blows for television sound bites or press releases. But Twitter is turning into a battlefield of its own.

On Tuesday, tempers flared in the New Jersey governor's race when Gov. John Corzine (@JonCorzine) re-tweeted a line about the economy written on @polticalcouncil, an obscure Twitter account with just 20 followers. The re-tweet in question said: "Corzine's financial experience helped PREVENT this economic downturn."

Republican Chris Christie (@christiefornj), Corzine's opponent in the race, tweeted back: "Be careful what u tweet! NJ's unemployment rate has gone from 4.8% when you started to 9.2% today." The Corzine campaign then blamed a staffer for the re-tweet without a proper fact-check.

Christie has slightly over 3,000 followers, while Corzine has slightly under 2,000 followers.


Filed under: Social Networking • Twitter
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. JAY

    Senator Specter is worried more about votes than he is about people.

    August 14, 2009 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  2. Rita OHIO

    Another twit. Contradict yourself lately. The meaning of "is" is

    Pulling the plug on grandma must not be as scary as death panels...lol

    August 14, 2009 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  3. Cliff

    Spincster is such an idiot.
    A lot of Congressional members could be referred to as a big "suck up" but he is at the head of the list!
    Hopefully, the fine folks in Pa. will put him out to pasture!

    August 15, 2009 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  4. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    Grassley is proof the GOP is not interested in health care reform (Besides the fact that they never submitted anything to the CBO). I'm not sure why the democrats are even bothering talking with any of them. Olympia Snowe is the only one that I think truly cares at all.

    Any comment from Grassley that doesn't completely reject the idea of "Death Panels" is just further proof the republicans are willing to spread lies to try and kill the health care bill. They can't debate it on the facts so they focus on the gullibility, laziness and ignorance of Americans.

    August 15, 2009 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
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