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. Bob in Pa

    Hey Pete, how is this a controversy ?
    I believe the comparioson is quite accurate. Getting their message out when a group of individuals fill they have been wronged by someone else in power.

    June 17, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  2. ron

    Except of course, the poeple protesting in Iran are the liberals rebelling against a conservative system driven by fear, hate, sabre rattling and interjecting thier beliefs into the lives of all Iranians.

    Sounds familir doesn't it?

    June 17, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  3. Andi

    Takes a lot of gall to compare a political party fight to people being shot in the streets fighting for their basic human rights

    June 17, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  4. John

    What an idiot!

    June 17, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. SensibleJoe

    In making such presumptuous and far-fetched self-serving comparisons, Hoekstra seems to have forgotten the last three letters and reduced himself from "Twitter" to "twit."

    June 17, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. Kyle, INDIANA

    I find it an insult that this man is comparing petty politician squabbles to IRAN's fight for political justice and freedom! The GOP has LOST THEIR MINDS!

    June 17, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. chris

    I love when people try to compare themselves to or judge others when they've never walked in someone elses shoes.

    Maybe this guy should visit Iran – then he'll see he has it pretty nice over here after all...

    June 17, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. Rosie, Crestiview, FL

    This man is a traitor to the US when he twittered about the democrats going to Iraq. Why would you do that if you didnt want harm to come to them?

    June 17, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. R. Wood

    O.K. so I'm just an old dinosaur, but instead of serious news and analysis, all I hear are "tweets" from Twitter. As I post this, a CNN ad invites me to "Follow us on Twitter." Objecting strongly to being just another digital ditto head, firmly believing that 145 characters in not enough to discuss anything more serious than acne medication, and understanding that the attention span of the average American is about the same as Obama's dead house fly, I respectfully decline to join your parade of TWITS.
    Having said all that, how do I buy stock in this fad.

    June 17, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  10. Melissa

    Wow, that was an arrogant thing for the Republican thing to say. But not exactly a surprise. Just another mark against the Republicans.

    June 17, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  11. Ch in Maine

    Wow, Nice try but the role of victim of election fraud is already taken in this senario by my party in 2000. It is nice to see the GOP finally come out fot fair and free elections. Where were thety in 2000 when GW Bush had his brother steal the elction for him in Florida? I wish we had had twitter back then.

    June 17, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. David

    Typical and expected response from the "DittoHead"

    June 17, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  13. Richard in California

    As a former Michigan resident and proud to call myself a Michigander, I am ashamed that Rep Hoekstra is a member of the US House of Representatives for Michigan. Rep. Hoekstra has shown himself to be not only clueless (tweeting security breaches, endangering our troops) but also elevating and equating his fellow GOP'ers efforts to block any progress in the US from moving on from the Bush/Cheney/Rove mess to the brave Iranian citizens who are risking their very lives to bring reform to the Iranian government.

    Seriously, Rep. Hoekstra, please stop. Your and your fellow Republican compatriots' efforts are nowhere near as important nor as high-minded as the dissenting Iranian people.

    June 17, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  14. Grant from Denver, CO

    Let Pete twit his day away, just makes him look as smart as he is; not very.

    June 17, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  15. Ray Zinbran

    "Hey, they use twitter, I used twitter that means that we are the same."

    June 17, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  16. Mississippi Mike

    Revolting against tyrants isn't easy whether it is the Iranian mullahcracy or Nancy Pelosi who is trying to destroy dissent and eliminate public debate.

    June 17, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. richard, NV


    The GOP are a bunch of ID!IOTS!

    June 17, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. southerncousin

    Obama had to find some way to pay this slug back for assisting him in stealing the election. Nice, cushy, White House job. Lots of access for his wifes lobbying firm.

    June 17, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. Peter E

    With all due respect, the analogy is laughable! It is the liberals that rose up in Iran because of a stolen election, and because they want progress and change. The GOP's efforts represent not even ONE of these important aspects. The GOP is shut out because they have no ideas of their own, just whining, and more whining!

    June 17, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Oh, poor republicans! The election was stolen from them by a small group of right-wing theocratic elite! Oh wait, that was the 2000 election and it was the republicans who stole it!

    June 17, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  21. Royster

    Hoekstra comments bring back fond memories of all the stupid things Bush used to say. Will Hoekstra equat the GOP next to George Washington's troops crossing the Potomac against the Redcoats?

    June 17, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. demwit

    Go get him CNN.., tear those conservatives apart!. How dare they compare Nancy's non-transparency to to Iranian non-transparency.

    June 17, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  23. GOPer

    This is who American’s are voting into office? Please tell me sir what your plans are to pull your constituency out of the mud. I know you are rolling in money but meanwhile back at the ranch, your people are eating rice and beans. I hope you choke on your next filet minon!

    I will contribute handsomely to your successor.

    June 17, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. Scott

    He's kidding, right? If Hoekstra wants to compare the Republicans to what is going on in Iran, clearly they are the mullahs.

    June 17, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  25. David

    I think he meant that when we kicked the republicans out of the white house, senate and congress in large numbers, their response has been more like al Qaeda, as we get closer and closer to shutting them down also. Lots of fear and hate filled noise and of no benefit to the American people.

    June 17, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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