Massachusetts governor backs away from tweet on sexual assault
May 1st, 2014
03:53 PM ET
6 months ago

Massachusetts governor backs away from tweet on sexual assault

(CNN) - A controversial tweet sent from the state of Massachusetts' official Twitter account about sexual assault sent Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick into damage-control mode on Thursday.

The tweet, sent Wednesday from @Mass.gov, read "Sexual assault is always avoidable" with the hashtag #SAAM and a logo for sexual assault awareness month.

"It was a stupid comment that certainly does not reflect the views of this administration or my own, or frankly the director of the organization that photo'd [sic] them," Patrick said, according to CNN affiliate WGGB in Massachusetts.

Twitter users on Wednesday blasted the tweet as insensitive and, about 12 hours later, the account removed the tweet.

In response, one user replied:

And another:

https://twitter.com/Boston2CapeCod/statuses/461692422473650176

Thursday morning, Mass.gov Director Geoff Kula posted an apology to the Twitter account and on the state's official website.

"I deeply regret the message sent last night regarding sexual assault and apologize to all sexual assault victims. We in no way meant to suggest that victims of sexual assault are to blame for the crimes committed against them," he said on Twitter.

This isn't the first time a governor has put distance between their administration and a social media mishap of an affiliated group.

Last month, a Twitter account for the Illinois Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn re-election campaign, @QuinnForIL, tweeted out an article containing controversial views on race. After the public blasted the article's inflammatory language, the campaign later deleted the tweet and apologized.

CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.


Filed under: Deval Patrick • Massachusetts
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Wow. Pretty stupid wording choice. Clearly, the intent was to show support for s-xual assault awareness month and victims of s-xual assault, etc. You have to wonder what the office-idiot who typed it into Twitter was thinking though.

    #EggOnFace

    May 1, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Wth??? It IS always avoidable. If the person doing the assaulting kept their paws to themselves then no one would be assaulted!! Damn people always need something to whine about!😡

    There is no need to apologize Governor. Anyone with a brain knows what you were attempting to tweet.

    May 1, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Twitter, Facebook and other social media the downfall of our country

    May 1, 2014 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I deeply regret the message sent last night regarding sexual assault and apologize to all sexual assault victims. We in no way meant to suggest that victims of sexual assault are to blame for the crimes committed against them," he said on Twitter."

    Ah yes. Twitter. Where people go to offer opinions before clearly thinking about what they're "twittering".

    May 1, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. Massachusetts IDIOTS

    "Sexual assault is always avoidable".... no it is not given Massachusetts gun laws. Allowing Massacusetts women and citizens the right to carry concealed weapons would make it much more "avoidable". But the Massachusetts gun laws take away or deny a woman's most powerful defense. It is why my duaghters will be required to learn martial arts.

    May 1, 2014 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    Ah yes. Twitter. Where people go to offer opinions before clearly thinking about what they're "twittering".

    May 1, 2014 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. Silence DoGood

    @Sniffit
    Wow. Pretty stupid wording choice. Clearly, the intent was to show support for s-xual assault awareness month and victims of s-xual assault, etc. You have to wonder what the office-idiot who typed it into Twitter was thinking though.

    #EggOnFace
    ---------–
    It matters little what the obvious intent was.
    Conservatives will go the shallow route and create haughty false outrage.
    They are looking for anything at this point.

    May 1, 2014 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    --instead of this nonsense talk, USA needs to bust the companies that underpay the wages to employees, that do not pay overtime that work overtime, government needs to bust these guys, lock up the companies. Period.

    May 1, 2014 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    tom l wrote:

    I pretty much agree with everything you said there. I guess the difference is that you feel that the president lied for the better of us all and I believe that he lied to protect himself. I just feel that the evidence demonstrates that as he was in what was thought to be a tight race and needed to make sure that he didn't come off as weak or as unprepared. It's always the lie that is the bigger sin than the actual act. I don't fault him for the attack; I fault him for lying to protect himself. I'm not so naïve not to know that people lie but I guess where we stray is that you feel he lied to protect us and I feel he lied to protect himself. At least we agree that he lied...at least I think we agree on that point!
    ----------------------------------
    Ive got some bad news. You think wrong. No one agreed with that the administration lied. You read too much into what people say. You make the classic mistake that is part of all of our human natures. We have a strong tendency to see things for what we want them to be, instead of for what they actually are. That would be the bubble that you live in, tom.

    Case in point, only Republicans thought that the race was was very close. Not many people outside of that closely knit community thought it was very close. Pres. Obama had a definite lead over Romney. Election night results speak for themselves. Team Obama was always confident of the outcome. Let's not forget about how Mitt Romney had promised to exploit an attack for political gain, and tried to do exactly that the night of the incident....before we even knew about Amb. Stevens. Romney had to back from his premature remarks in a hurry. He didn't look or sound like a POTUS. I think that put the White House on guard, and prepared a talking points memo, which was later distributed to Amb. Rice.

    May 1, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  10. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    And there you have it DM.... Read the last sentence of the attention seekers post. His entire diatribe is to make this POTUS look bad.
    "At least we agree that he lied." What utter crap. I don't agree that he lied. I just don't think the public needs to know everyone. If that means I trust the government too much then so be it. Thanks to the government my family is free.

    May 1, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. 2_indy1600

    It depends on what the definition of "is" is, right? Thank you, Bill.

    May 1, 2014 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. Massachusetts - SOFT ON CRIME

    Massacusetts is a well known haven for soft of crime liberal judges. These criminals get a slap on the wrist and then put back on the streets to attack more women. Thell this liberal governor to LOCK UP CRIMINALS and KEEP THEM LOCKED UP. That will make more of these assaults "avoidable".

    May 1, 2014 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    " I just feel that the evidence demonstrates that as he was in what was thought to be a tight race and needed to make sure that he didn't come off as weak or as unprepared."

    And yet you never cite any evidence.

    Pssst: there is none.

    May 1, 2014 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. yolanda

    @Silence, you paint with a very wide, shallow brush. Don't judge everyone by what you would do if the shoe was on the other foot. Just as you trivialized racial discrimination yesterday, you do the same by trying to make this into something partisan. You might feel as if you've scored points, but you have weakened any legitimate views you might offer. Rave on.

    May 1, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "The numbers that the Republicans are throwing around are known to be false because they are in direct contradiction with the numbers recently released by CEOs of several health insurance companies. Of course, the truthers will continue to believe whatever the Republicans are telling them, despite indisputable facts to the contrary."

    Yep. Although, I would point out that they are known to be false regardless of the CEOs saying it's in the 85%-90% range (the same thing HHS has been claiming). See, what they did was ignore that people have until April 30, 2014 to pay their premiums and only looked at who had paid by April 15, 2014. BUT, they still used the TOTAL number of people who enrolled via the federal exchange website as the denominator for calculating the percentage, which of course is not correct math and was done deliberately to produce a smaller quotient. Their survey is available online and it's readily apparent on its face that it's designed to elicit data/info that produces an incorrect result MATHEMATICALLY. They ran around claiming without any proof that Obama was "cooking the books" with the numbers he and HHS provided, and yet they're the ones who have...and it's provable..."cooked" their survey results.

    May 1, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "Massacusetts is a well known haven for soft of crime liberal judges."

    Lived there all my life and that's the first I've ever heard that. Care to cite your source or the record on which you're relying? Or is this just "MA is liberal, so it's all liberal judges and my tinfoil hat is telling me that liberal judges are soft on crime"?

    May 1, 2014 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  17. Silence DoGood

    @yolanda
    @Silence, you paint with a very wide, shallow brush. Don't judge everyone by what you would do if the shoe was on the other foot. Just as you trivialized racial discrimination yesterday, you do the same by trying to make this into something partisan. You might feel as if you've scored points, but you have weakened any legitimate views you might offer. Rave on.
    --------
    good point

    May 1, 2014 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "They ran around claiming without any proof that Obama was "cooking the books" with the numbers he and HHS provided, and yet they're the ones who have...and it's provable..."cooked" their survey results.

    And before I forget: the reason they did it and couldn't wait just 2 more weeks or so to get the data through April 30, 2014 is quite simply because they knew where it was headed and they needed to get something, anything out there as a false datapoint to pollute the debate with misinformation. They had to "get ahead of" the story and create a lie-narrative before the facts came out to yet again ruin their talking points about the ACA being a failure.

    May 1, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  19. CryBabies

    Its a small world you 24/7'rs have created for yourself. This sight is the reason for your existence due simply by the fact that you're on it 24/7. Sad! (you know who you are.)

    May 1, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

    "At least we agree that he lied...at least I think we agree on that point!"

    What "lie" are you citing? My God ... are you still yapping about Benghazi, Tom?

    May 1, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. 2_indy1600

    @Sniffit "They ran around claiming without any proof that Obama was 'cooking the books' with the numbers he and
    HHS provided...."
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Yes, and how about those UNEMPLOYMENT numbers? Just another gop-er gumbo, huh?

    May 1, 2014 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  22. Tony D

    Duval Patrick is a buffoon. This stupid tweet does not surprise me. Thankfully he'll be gone soon. Hopefully he will not be inflicted on the rest of the country.

    May 1, 2014 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "@Sniffit "They ran around claiming without any proof that Obama was 'cooking the books' with the numbers he and
    HHS provided...."
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Yes, and how about those UNEMPLOYMENT numbers? Just another gop-er gumbo, huh?"
    ===

    What about them? They've been falling slowly for a while now and they are being measured he way they've been measured for decades.. What's your point? Or was your point simply that you thought you found an excuse to yammer about unemployment?

    May 1, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "are you still yapping about Benghazi, Tom?"

    It's all they've got left.

    #FiveMinutesToBenghazi ... like clockwork....

    May 1, 2014 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |