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. JL in Florida

    Really? The monumentally brave rising-up of people for freedom and against **actual** tyranny is the same/similar to the GOP tapping away on their cell phones last year?

    Please, just stop. You all are getting more ridiculous by the day.

    June 17, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. WhoCares?

    Good Lord....

    When will the political party that held the Executive Branch for 8 years, the Legislative Branch for 6 years and still owns the Judicial Branch stop playing the frickin' role of VICTIM.

    What a purely pathetic group of individuals.

    June 17, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. I can see Canada from my house!

    The explanation form Hoekstra's office is weak, to say the least. He did make a direct comparison because the Conservative movement truly believes they are facing annihilation, and only by twittering and facebooking can they save the country. The sad thing about this is that I never recall anyone of any real significance on the Left or the Political Center equating any of their disputes with the Republican Congresses and Administrations with the Velvet Revolution, the Chinese Student Uprisings, the Prague Spring or any other mass popular uprising. The delusional aspect of some conservatives is both amusing and disturbing, especially when it comes to their collective self-image: oops, I should not have used the word "collective": now I'll be on the wacko Right-Wing list for "re-education" or termination.

    June 17, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  4. Tired

    A Republican taking the opportunity for showboating in front of the cameras and making thoughtless, nonsensical comparisons? Man, maybe Sarah Palin IS making the rules for the party.

    June 17, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. Bridgette

    I don't think so.

    June 17, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  6. Ren from Baltimore

    What a clown.

    It is becoming increasingly clear that real Republicans chose not to run for office, letting a bunch of third-stringers and hangers-on run the circus for now.

    June 17, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  7. New Day

    I gotta say, they keep digging that ditch deeper and deeper.

    June 17, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. New Day

    Here's the difference, Petey, you had 8 years and we voted your party out.

    June 17, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "We are fighting with our lives and the world is just watching," said Ali, a Tehran University student who asked that his full name not be used. "They see how the government is trying to silence us, how they are beating us - but they don't come to our help. It's OK. We will succeed, even if we have to fight alone." (from CNN article)

    THAT is why Iranians will OWN their freedom and why they will later thank us for not creating a situation a future POTUS, with similar ambitions and views as Bush, Cheney and the GOPers, will view as Iran owing us something. Freedom and democracy are not given, they are won and defended.

    June 17, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    That is so far from the truth to compare the two. The Iranians are questioning the legitimacy of the election results. To even remotely compare them is just plain silly to put it nicely.

    June 17, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. Henry


    And Obama winning with ACORN's vote stealing and manipulation is just like the Iranian election.

    America and the World is catching on to the dishonesty of people like Obama and Pelosi and Ahmedinnejad

    June 17, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. John

    Wow. Seriously? Someone needs a little perspective. Like, a whole truckload.

    June 17, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  13. Eleanor

    Hoekstra's yet one more GOP buffoon utterly stuck on STOOPID! Good lord almighty! Do Republigoons ever open their mouths without idiocy pooring out?? This bozo does not even know when to shut up, does he? Just because the details "were not classified" meant it was OK for him to broadcast trip information on Twitter???!! What in heaven's name is this idiot doing in Congress?

    June 17, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. Concerned

    He has nothing better to do except make these claims. Looks like he would prefer twitter all day so that he can collect his paycheck and be happy opposing Obama. Mr. you can twitter as much as you want, unless GOP start acting for the working people, GOP will have the same fate as Iranian president will soon have. You guys , just wait and youi will see soon the results of DO NOTHINF fans like you.

    June 17, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. jason, tx

    Republicans seem to have a chronic case of foot and mouth disease.

    June 17, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. Carole


    The BULLY is gone from office now Rethugs. It is now about talking to people and respecting differences,

    June 17, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Steve J, Michigan

    Give me a break is it another slow news day.. He also said that he thought the CIA lied to congress.. But, we never heard the uproar about that. Repubs are so sad..


    June 17, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. ThinkAboutIt

    Talk about grasping at straws! The GOP is comparing themselves to Iranian protestors? The GOP really thinks that people are stupid and incapable of thinking logically or exploring an issue beyond a sound bite.

    Guess that's what you do when your ideas and policies are proven failures ... smoke and mirrors is all the GOP has to offer.

    June 17, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  19. Leslie, A Proud Democrat

    He was comparing the Iranian police forces to the Democrats. Shameful.

    June 17, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. TRUTH

    the gop is dead thank you bush/cheney GO DEMS

    June 17, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. Tim

    How long will it be before Obama says that we need to give Iran more time to respond to our recent overtures to discuss the nuclear and other regional issues? I can see it now come December, Obama will say that the disputed elections in June distracted Iran's leaders from formulating a response, and they therefore need more time.

    June 17, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. robert Funk

    Obama is the silver tongued showman of the modern milennium. Anything he says can be taken with a grain of salt....it dissolves and goes away in two seconds flat!

    June 17, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. prairieguy

    Pete swallows foot in mouth once again...is this what the Repbs have come to?

    June 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. Alfred E. Neumann

    See kids, this is what happens when you deny reality. You become Pete Hoekstra.

    Pete, the next time you do drugs make sure they are FDA approved.

    June 17, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. Stephen

    I view it more like when President Bush got elected and there were some disputes as to some votes in Florida were question just like how there is questionable election practices in Iran because it was an actual election not a decision to close down a vote on a certain bill which is commonplace in Congress and Parliament.

    June 17, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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