[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/16/obamajapan.jpg caption="Obama: I've never used Twitter."]Washington (CNN) – President Obama admitted to never using Twitter during his trip to China on Monday.
"Let me say that I have never used Twitter," Obama said in response to a question from a Chinese student about using Twitter freely in China. Obama continued: "I noticed that young people - they're very busy with all these electronics. My thumbs are too clumsy to type in things on the phone."
During the presidential campaign, techies and news organizations all noted the Obama campaign's use of social networking. "Barack Obama dominates Twitter" read one summer headline on CNET.com.
Obama has his name on one Twitter account, @BarackObama, which was started in April 2007 and is now run by Organizing for America (Obama's political arm operated out of the Democratic National Committee). The other account is @WhiteHouse, which was first set up to send out news about H1N1. @BarackObama has close to 2.7 million followers and @WhiteHouse has over 1.4 million followers.
Matt Lewis, a conservative blogger with Politics Daily, thought Obama seemed "out of touch" in his comments about young people and electronics, considering during the campaign there was an effort made to make Obama look hip and tech savvy. "There were a lot of people during the campaign who were critical of John McCain, that he was not technologically cutting edge," Lewis told CNN.
MG Siegler of TechCrunch, a non-partisan blog that reports on social media, wrote today, "Obviously, he had a killer team around him that was able to embrace the web...Still, it's somewhat surprising that he never sent any of his own tweets during the primaries."
Ari Melber, a liberal correspondent for The Nation who followed Obama's digital steps during the campaign, didn't seem fazed by the Obama comments. He said, "In legal terms, what would a reasonable Twitter user think?" Ask Rachel Sklar, a prolific tweeter and Editor-at-Large of Mediaite.com: "I never thought he did [tweet]. He's a little busy."