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

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. John

    Is this guy serious? He's comparing himself to people who are being beaten and murdered in the streets of Iran. This guy needs a serious reality check.

    June 17, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. BudInTexas

    Pete Hoekstra is an idiot!

    June 17, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. mw

    Don't be going against your word and promises, Barack

    June 17, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. debbie

    The GOP is desperate to become relevant. I think the rest of them are keeping quiet hoping no-one remembers what they did in Florida in 2000....

    June 17, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. Ken in NC

    Iran can't shut down TWITTER so they blame President Obama for their lack of understanding of High Tech. Good thing to do Iran. Blame it all on Obama. He has already said he did not want to be seen as "MEDDLING" in the affairs of your country so you accuse him of doing it. Such a smart government.

    June 17, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    This is not even close to any twitter comparison. The Iranian people are defending their strong belief for change and I would assume regular folks from all ages, classes and cultures around the world would show such support in the street for their defense!

    June 17, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. citizenjane

    Absolutely gutter trash.

    June 17, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. JA/TN

    the GOPneed to tweet on the business of the people, you dropped the ball eight years ago

    June 17, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Molly Weasley

    What a tool. Republicans haven't learned that the benefits of Twitter are saying something intelligent.

    June 17, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. Joker

    Oh, I thought he was referring to fixed election in Florida....

    June 17, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. Bill

    Twittering from a twit.

    June 17, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. Hoekstra's a disgusting hypocrite who suffers delusions of gradiosity

    Hoekstra reminds me of the Iranians who support Ahmadinejad. The difference is that Hoekstra benefits from a gerrymandered district and taxpayer money spent on promoting incumbents (franking privilege, travel expenses) to make it extremely difficult to be challenged for his seat.

    June 17, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. Bob from Pittsburgh

    Hoekstra's comparison is stupid and childish, the situation in Iran doesn’t have one iota of similarity with his situation in congress, and for more than 200 years the American society has been a beacon of democracy, where everybody is free to express their opinions without fear of reprisal. Not so in the republic of Iran, no long ago they had a brutal monarchy that in 1979 was replaced by a ultra conservative religious and more repressive regime.

    Mr. Hoekstra should inform himself before speaking; he makes himself look like a fool.

    June 17, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. Jim Bailey

    Sorry but Sentor Pete is a total twit.

    June 17, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. dominican mama 4 Obama


    June 17, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    No comparison.

    June 17, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Why don't the Republicans send an envoy to Iran to meet with their Taliban brethren....they could party like it's 1999 and teach them how to tie up disputed elections in the Iranian court system for years...like they do here.

    June 17, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. hadelaide

    This is just another overpaid fool, receiving health benefits, who should be sent home. Don't these clowns THINK before opening their mouths? People are dying in their protest against oppression and he is childishly comparing it to the "NO" agenda!

    Lord give me patience I pray!

    June 17, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  19. Embarrassed in Michigan

    Hoekstra is my Congressman with plans to run for Governor of Michigan.

    I'm not anti-Republican, but I am strongly opposed to idiocy and idiotic posturing. Hoekstra is a perfect example of the Republican style that has been soundly rejected in recent elections but still can't pick up on the message.

    If he wants to compare his version of the Republican party to Iran, he fits in with the old-school and the Supreme Leader being rejected.

    June 17, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  20. Reformed Republican

    Hey Hoekstra – Twitter is for people wanting to communicate, not political "twits" who only want to push their obstructionist agenda or give away details of our military's operations. Button it up Hoekstra, you're making a fool of yourself in fornt of the texting community...

    June 17, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. David S. Robins

    The principal similarity between the Republicans and the opposition protesters in Iran is that the Republicans are on the side of the corrupt ayatollahs and behave like them. The opposition protesters are far more akin to the Democratic party. Ayatollahs and Republicans are equally indecent.

    June 17, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. Sandra Day

    For the first time, the other day I heard someone use the term "Rightwing Jihadist Republicans." Now, here is a Republican basically going along with this. Interesting.

    June 17, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  23. Johnny b

    Horrible comparison! Are you for real?

    June 17, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  24. katiec

    The big difference is that the majority of Iranians are not
    domestic terrorists.

    June 17, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  25. Danny

    What an idiot. The two have nothing in common.

    June 17, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
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