President's Twitter campaign back-tweets
July 29th, 2011
07:25 PM ET
3 years ago

President's Twitter campaign back-tweets

Washington (CNN) – It's hard to explain it in 140 characters or less. President Obama's re-election Twitter account lost thousands of followers Friday after his 2012 campaign tried to use the social media site to turn up the heat on Republicans over the debt ceiling.

The account, @BarackObama, sent out scores of tweets Friday listing the Twitter handles for dozens of GOP members of Congress.

"If you live in Wisconsin, ask @SenRonJohnson http://twitter.com/SenRonJohnson to support a bipartisan compromise to the debt crisis," one tweet said.

Earlier in the day, the president called on Americans to use Twitter, as well as other forms of communication, to send a message to Congress to end the stalemate.

"Let your members of Congress know, make a phone call, send an e-mail, tweet, keep the pressure on Washington and we can get past this," the President said.

But the tweet offensive may have backfired. Or is that back-tweeted?

According to the website Twitter Counter, the account lost tens of thousands of followers Friday.

White House reporters and the president's critics questioned whether Mr. Obama's re-election campaign was spamming its more than nine million followers.

"Bam's spam? President Barack Obama takes debt battle to Twitter, loses more than 33,000 followers," the Twitter account @whitehousepresscorps tweeted as of 6pm Friday.

An Obama re-election campaign official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, brushed off the account's losses, arguing there's a "natural burn rate" any time you send an email or tweet.

Members of Congress tweeted back their frustrations.

"Dear #Obamatons you are ruining my interactions with thoughtful democrats with this spam. And U R hurting your President," tweeted Rep. Dennis Ross R-Florida.


Filed under: Debt • Deficit • President Obama • Twitter
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. JNN

    I am one who unfollwed the President yesterday. It is annoying when you receive dozens of tweets within hours. It can bw a full time job reading them live alone acting. Someone is being lazy. They should used zip code etc to zero-in like 12 tweets per person of members we should contacts. They are actually abusing our tweets relationship and kinda showed desperation something a leader should never display. I still remain loyal to Obama

    July 30, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. andy1066

    The American public keeps electing these people to Congress, what can I say except you are getting what you voted for in 2010! The Tea Party is showing there true colors. Wait until Wednesday then we will see where chips fall. The conservative's are so full of themselves and so sure they and they alone know how to fix all problems, we will see!

    July 30, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. Freedomisnotfree

    At this point I am actually expecting Congress to fail to find a compromise, at which point the President will either invoke article 4 of the 14 amendment, or we will crash and burn our economy. If the latter happens, a lot of people will find themselves going hungry soon, many of them conservative senior citizens. I wonder how that is going to change the political dynamic? Could it possibly result in an upswell of actual disenfranchisement with the political system, especially against the conservative agenda? Now THAT would be change I could believe in!

    July 30, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. Betty

    I think the House,Congress,Senate,& all gov.should NOT get paid ..let them see how it feels not to have an income..I depend on my soc monthly check...

    July 30, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. Mike B

    Everyone wants to be heard but no one hears. We have become like God, we all have the "truth". And our pride is the seed of our own destruction.

    July 30, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. DrewL

    Losing just 33,000 followers out of more than 9 million followers of that Twitter account is nothing. That's less than one-half of one percent. Hardly a rounding error. I thought it was an inventive use of modern communications technology to ensure that Congress heard the people's concerns. Keep it up!!! And tell your Republican congressional reps that we need compromise not demagoguery!

    July 30, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  7. waitasec

    i don't understand what the problem is...

    July 30, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. Not One For Words

    It is 'The Hills' fault on all sides, and it is America's fault. We have become such a selfish, self-centered lack-of-nation that we have ALL allowed this to happen. No moral values – everything is 'gray' to all. Congratulations to you all.

    July 30, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. alienprophecy

    Barack Obama: notorious spammer. Now I know who's responsible for all of those Viagra and Canadian Pharmacy advertisements...

    July 30, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  10. Linda

    Who cares/ The truth is the Tea party is hell bent on destroying everything good about America! They will destroy safety and programs for the poor to line to pockets of the rich and try to get money from them for their own re election. They are terrorists ! They would destroy America and its economy for their own selfish childish demands. Throw them out America! Nobody voted them in to destroy our nation! What happened to the talk about job creation? They just bust unions and destroy the economy! They are the idiots, not Obama.

    July 30, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  11. Ninja

    I thought people were on Twitter so that they could be spammed by celebrities, guess I was wrong.

    July 30, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  12. O.G.

    The President is failing his country. This is his responsibility, to get everyone together for a compromise and he's not doing it.

    July 30, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  13. Benjamin

    To put this 'backfire' into perspective, Obama's number of twitter followers decreased 0.35%. Suffice it to say, a drop in the bucket, or out of the bucket, as it were.

    July 30, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Please read what APARTHIED is and you will see and understand exactly what President Obama is fighting against and what the Republicans are attempting to install. Please read and you don't have to like the President but you can stop these Republicans.

    July 30, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. ondeck

    Stay strong Mr. President, the facts are clear and history will be on your side. You are the only person with term limits involved in this. You are acting in the best interest of the American people – not yourself. Thank you for stepping in to such a mess and trying the last three years to clean it up and keep us out of depression. Lots of tough calls had to be made. We understand the debt ceiling is about paying bills – money already spent from 2 wars and taxcuts for wealthy. Keep up the good work !

    July 30, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. Doug

    Aparthied Claudia, the Democrats who started the klan, implimented Jim Crow laws, and currently commiting genocide in our inner cities through the great society divide and conquer plan are fighting the slave freeing, civil rights defeding Republicans from installing Aparthied.

    I don't want to stop Americas morally, integrity, equality best, like every other fair minded decent American who contributes to society I have a moral obligation to support the Republicans.

    July 30, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. Dave

    "Claudia, Houston, Tx" are you serious? You can disagree, but to be that ignorant is amazing.

    July 30, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  18. Mack

    Republican congressmen should spend less time worrying about Obama's tweets and more time figuring out why they are more interested in preventing Big Business and the wealthy from being taxed. Don't even get me started on the ignorance of the "Tea Party" congressmen that are so delusional as to think they are doing their country a service by refusing to negotiate with the President and earnestly believe it would be better to let the country default so Obama's chances at re-election in 2012 will be greatly diminished.

    July 30, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  19. Edntexas

    obama is a pathetic leader....my son would make a better leader and he is only 9. he cares not for the military...and does not care a bit for this country.....he does not want to fix anything he wants to break it.....i see americans waking und realizing that this guy was a huge mistake.....read animal farm. that is what obamas administrattion is all about......my country has survived tough times and i believe in my heart that we will survive and be great again once this dictator is out of office

    July 30, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  20. Muffy 7

    Twitter should be beneath the dignity of the President, just childish garbage.

    July 30, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  21. Angela

    Let's see he has 9372570 followers and growing again

    July 30, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. Angela

    The 33,000 were probably on the right who were peeking in,

    July 30, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. AmFem

    @That is hilarious...
    You have absolutely no knowledge of anything. But, to keep it short, I'll focus on one of your idiotic comments:
    The First Lady NEVER said she was never proud of her country, and this lie was exposed about 2 years ago. Educate yourself and read the entire comment she made... In it's TRUE context. Dope.

    July 30, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  24. AmFem

    @ Southern Hottie... Me too! This inspired me to be a follower!

    July 30, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. Darrell

    First, for those who are saying the President is ruing the Country...where you guys when Bush was in charge.

    Fact 1: 80% of the current budget deficit was caused by GWB and his Republican party.

    Fact 2: the President of the US does not have to submit a plan to have Congress lift the debt ceiling. So, please stop asking where his plan...like the other Presidents before him, Obama just has to ask Congress to left the ceiling.

    Fact 3: The process of lifting of the debt is a legislative matter, not an executive function.

    You people should get your facts straight and stop watching Fox News.

    Finally, for those conservatives and progressives who are disappointed in Obama, don't vote for him 2012. He is the worst President in US history, I would hate to see what you think about GWB tenure...you remember him: 700,000 US jobs lost per month, negative economic growth, worst recession, etc. You are right, we should not blame Bush anymore just because he got us in this mess, and his Congressional Republican cowards went along with his policies...no I am going to blame it on the Tooth Fairy...because that is were most of you live, in Alice and Wonderland!

    July 30, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
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