June 17th, 2009
01:31 PM ET
13 years ago

Hoekstra compares Iranian protests to GOP effort

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/17/art.hoekstra0617.gi.jpg caption="Rep. Pete Hoekstra compared the use of Twitter in Iran to a Republican Web effort last year."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The flood of Twitter activity emerging from the street protests in Iran is bringing back some fond memories for Republican congressman Pete Hoekstra of Michigan.

"Iranian twitter activity similar to what we did in House last year when Republicans were shut down in the House," Hoekstra tweeted from his BlackBerry on Wednesday, referencing how House Republicans used the Web to get their message out after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi adjourned the House before an energy vote last August.

But just how "similar" was that effort to the passionate protests in the streets of Iran that followed last week's disputed election?

Barely a minute passed before Twitter users objected to Hoekstra's assertion. One user quickly tweeted back: "Except the Democrats didn't come after you with clubs and guns, did they?"

Hoekstra's office said the congressman was not making a direct comparison between the two situations and was simply highlighting the value that new technology can play in communicating with supporters.

“Congressman Hoekstra did not compare the ongoing violence in Iran to when Democrats shut down the House chamber during the energy debate last summer," said spokesman Dave Yonkman. "The two situations do share the similarity of government leadership attempting to limit debate and deliberation, and the ability of new technologies to bypass their efforts and allow for direct communication. That’s the only point that he was trying to make."

This isn't Hoekstra's first Twitter controversy. Back in February, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee tweeted details of a congressional trip to Baghdad. Congressional Quarterly called that a security breach, but the congressman's office said the trip details were not classified and that the the tweets posed no risk.

Story updated with Hoekstra response at 2:40 p.m. ET

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soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. David Is A Great Guy

    I agree with Bill Maher. Letterman should never have apologized for something he didn't say or intend to say. He's a decent man who has more character than Sarah Failin and her cronnies will ever have. The GOP has nothing to present to the American people but disruption, strife, and chaos. They are a bunch of sore losers and can't think of anything better to do than to attack comedienes. What a joke.

    June 17, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. HB

    Laughter is good for the soul. Thanks!

    June 17, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Tracy

    Okay – I think that a bill should be passed immediately to ban all of Congress from having Twitter accounts. Enough evidence now exists to show too much time is being spent Twittering (its made them loco).

    June 17, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Republicans and technology just don't mix. Trying to explain it to them is like trying to teach an Alzheimer's victims to remember.

    June 17, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. Old Farmboy

    As a Republican I really need to say something in his behalf.

    "What an Idiot!"

    There... How'd I do?

    June 17, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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