July 29th, 2008
10:56 AM ET
15 years ago

RNC launches Facebook parody Web site targeting Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/29/art.barackbook0729.rnc.jpg caption="The RNC's new Web site parodies Facebook.com where Sen. Obama has accumulated more than a million supporters."]
(CNN) – The Republican National Committee stepped up its efforts Tuesday to use social networking technologies that Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has effectively embraced in order to criticize the presumptive Democratic nominee as the campaign heads into the final 100 days.

BarackBook.com, the RNC’s new Web site parodies Facebook.com, the popular social networking site where Obama currently has 1.2 million supporters. The RNC says that Obama has seven “friends” on the parody site including convicted Chicago businessman Antoin “Tony” Rezko and William Ayers, a member of the Weather Underground during the 1970’s.

In addition to a feed page displaying activity between Obama and his “friends,” the RNC site also includes a page featuring YouTube videos about Obama, a page that facilitates donations to the RNC, an RSS feed of information from GOP.com, among other pages.

BarackBook.com is free-standing outside of Facebook but the site includes a link to the page of the RNC’s official Facebook group and a link to an application that duplicates the RNC’s parody site within the confines of Facebook.

“This is an interactive way to learn more about Obama’s poor judgment,” RNC spokesman Alex Conant said in a statement Tuesday. “Obama’s judgment is an issue in this election, and this site will help us highlight some of Obama’s noteworthy ‘friends.’”

The Obama campaign sees the new RNC site differently. “For comment on the new RNC site, I’d refer you to their own discussion board, specifically the topic ‘The site is lame,’” said an e-mail from Tommy Vietor of the Obama campaign, making a reference to comments posted on Facebook about the BarackBook application.

In recent days, both Obama and John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, have increased efforts to connect with supporters in on-line social networking environments. The McCain campaign recently launched “McCain Nation,” a space on the campaign’s Web site that facilitates grassroots organizing by supporters by allowing them to create and find events involving other McCain supporters. Since mid-June, the McCain campaign has also launched at least four separate applications on Facebook - a video tour of McCain’s bus, a video game, a virtual yard sign, and an application that allows users to view a McCain campaign advertisement.

The Obama campaign’s original Facebook application is credited with helping to build a large base of support on the social networking site. The campaign recently launched a Facebook second application that allows supporters on the popular social networking site to set up grassroots organizing events such as meetings, fundraisers, voter registration activities, phone banks, or community service.

Obama currently has a wide lead over McCain in terms of support on Facebook. Obama has 1.2 million supporters while McCain has 183,000 on the site.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • RNC
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Obama 08: mature, white woman

    As Usual the difference between Obama and McCain is the difference between postive and negative.

    July 29, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Republican for Obama

    The McCain campaign is comically pathetic, wow.

    July 29, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  3. Jesse, St. Louis Park, MN

    WOW...the RNC is really out of touch. Why don't you guys just stay away from computers like your ancient candidate, McSame, does.

    July 29, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  4. Matt from NYC

    couldnt facebook sue the RNC for copywrite infringement?
    I mean jesus – they even stole all the little icons on that piece of propaganda BS.

    What a joke.

    July 29, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. Oliver - MD

    I have only one word: Desperation. Poor MCBush!!!

    July 29, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. Matt (Nashville, TN)


    July 29, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. Greg, NY

    Wow, that's real mature. I guess they'll change the term 'swift boated' to 'face booked.'

    I hope I don't get face booked if I run for office...

    July 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. beyond politics

    Sad- shows how desperate the Rebublican party is. You would think they would be a little more mature, considering that they appear to value maturity. The Rebuplicans will stop at nothing to get elected so that they can protect the interests of their patrons: big business. This administration has done all it can to help big business ignore the laws protecting the environment and consumers. The GOP also worked hard to funnel as much of our tax dollars to their buddies the defense contractors through contracts supporting a senseless war. If you think John McCain will be any different, I've got a bridge in New York I'd love to sell you.

    Time for a change. Barack Obama is not perfect, but he is a true American who will fight for Americans, not just companies. You see, unlike John McCain and George Bush, he hasn't taken any of their money, so he doesn't owe them a thing!

    July 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. Johnboy

    I love it. We should keep coming up with more things like this to expose Barack for the person he really is. Young people for McCain unite! Don't let MTV and the rest of the liberal media brainwash you. Don't be hypnotized by Barack's soothing voice and toothy smile. We need substance in the white house, not a superstar who's only attribute is that he is easy on the eyes.

    July 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. Sick of Republican Tactics!

    It figures! Republican can't defend their corrupt and greedy way of governing this country, so they have no choice but to resort to attacking and planting doubt (falsely) towards their rivals!

    You don't see any false attack ads on McSame...even though there are plenty to go on (legitimate ones!). But that's not how Obama wants to run his campaign. He's focussing on why he's the better choice, rather than to scare people off with more and more lies.

    July 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. major Payne

    It's just plain sad the the RNC has to stoop to this level.

    July 29, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. Ted Drucker

    WOW..!! How lame..While Obama is meeting with top economic advisors and foreign officials in how to better steer this country, the RNC and John McCain come up with more pathetic ways to run this country...

    how PATHETIC and CHILDISH...

    July 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. Ricky - Hispanic/Educated and voting for Obama

    So Republicans are spending their money attacking Obama and making lies. Democrats are spending their money defending himself. Wow what a strategy by the Republicans.

    So while Obama is creating allies, using diplomacy, talking about his issues John McCain is in Canada and making up lies, flip flopping, and attacking Obama. Way to run a campaign Republicans.

    Obama is obviously the right choice for America.

    July 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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