July 29th, 2008
10:56 AM ET
14 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. Tommy

    This is a real scream, considering the RNCs own candidate cannot even use a computer and would not be able to navigate to the site to observe all the sleaze the RNC is posting on his behalf !!!

    July 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Steve, Madison WI

    McCain better be careful – his "friends" include the other members of the "Keating 5", Dick Cheney and W, Phil Grahm, Rev. Haage....

    July 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Unshrub

    Why must republicans go negative all of the time. Why is it with local and national republicna ads all I hear is how bad are Obama and the Democrats. I don't see a fraction of the Democrat ads being negative. WHY-WHY-WHY?

    July 29, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. tai

    And the republicans go lower yet again.

    July 29, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. bill for barack

    Does it really surprise anybody that the Republicans consistently stoop to such juvenile, Nixon-style tactics ?
    One thing is painfully clear – the more McBush opens his mouth the more painfully clear it becomes that he has no consistent or coherent policies. He has no hope – only audicity.

    July 29, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. Seriously?

    Wow, its sadder than I thought. This is the best that they can do? I can't wait until November, this is pathetic.

    July 29, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. Valerie Hussein Smith

    Isn't it telling that the RNC has spent so much of their time and efforts bashing Barack Obama on personal matters rather than his positions. They don't have just one, but several websites created, just to bash Obama. They spend more of their time talking about Barack Obama then they talk about John McCain. I guess it's not just the media that's having an Obama love fest. Even the RNC can't get enough of him...

    It's even funnier that McCain is letting it happen. If he doesn't have any control over what his party does… well, I'd hate to see what he would do as leader of the free world.

    Seems the Republicans are a little frightened of Barack Obama.

    RNC <3 Barack H. Obama

    July 29, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. Jim

    That's all they can do is smear campaign's...lets not focus on our own candidate and instead bully the other away with smears and lieing prapaganda....PATHETIC, republicans are getting trashier and trashier by the day!

    July 29, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |

    Ohhhhhhhh Wow, McCain and his camp finally started utilizing the internet!!!!! Still behind the times; like the internet, the best interest of the people, best interest of the country, etc.....

    July 29, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. Alex NYC

    Ah yeah... that's the way to convince Obama supporters to switch... make fun of one of their favorite websites. Good luck RNC...

    July 29, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. Peter

    Sleazy GOP politics, i thought only Rove would dive this low

    July 29, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  12. Sal

    another pathetic attempt by them Republicans. too bad McCain won't get to check the website, he doesn't know how to use a computer. it must hurt to know they are gonna lose so bad.

    Obama in '08

    July 29, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  13. Vote Nader

    Anybody else think the Democratic and Republican Parties are run by children?

    ** Nader/Gonzalez 2008 **

    July 29, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. A.K.

    PWNED! : “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..."

    July 29, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. proud army and navy mom

    Awesome.....Finally someone willing to talk about Hussein sketchy dealings

    July 29, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  16. Danielle

    This is not only in poor taste by the RNC but Facebook should sue them for copyright infringement.

    July 29, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. Facebook?!

    Wait, you mean old dudes who have virtually no understanding of the Internet and computer applications are trying to use technology against a candidate who clearly understands and has mastered the use of technology/online sources as a way to secure campaing donations and disseminate information?

    Sounds like a loser of a proposition to me, and yet ANOTHER way that McCain is trying to model his appeal after Obama.

    July 29, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  18. ls

    What else is new . . . spewing targets at Obama has been the RNC and McCain's foundation of how they control and run their Low-Grade campaign. They are literally a disgrace and a waist of time.

    Forget the real issues the RNC and McCain need to be addressing. It is obvious they wouldn't even know where to start.

    All they know how to do is target Obama . . . [thumbs down to the RNC and McCain – all of you are a complete joke to this country]

    July 29, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. Debby, NJ

    Here We Go Again ... RNC has nothing on the OBAMA campaign as fas as a website...stupid TROLLS...can't even get the site right...The site is lame!!!

    July 29, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  20. Bradley In Colorado

    I hope they get sued by the people who operate Facebook. Maybe for libel?

    July 29, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. rumpusgoopus

    Ah, Republican humor. Such an oxymoron.

    July 29, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  22. Wisconsin


    Hey CNN why isn't this a story?

    Republican presidential candidate John McCain's signal that he may be open to a higher payroll tax for Social Security, despite previous vows not to raise taxes of any kind, is drawing sharp rebukes from conservatives.

    July 29, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. Wisconsin

    Meanwhile real issues get overlooked.

    July 29, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  24. Eric

    Please, can it get more pathetic than thisas a campaign. I do hope though the site will attract some diots who keep filling this blog with lies and misinformation.

    July 29, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Figures! Good luck fooling the kids Grandpa! I'm sure by now they've read that you don't know how to use the "internets"...

    July 29, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6