President's Twitter campaign back-tweets
July 29th, 2011
07:25 PM ET
11 years ago

President's Twitter campaign back-tweets

Washington (CNN) - It's hard to explain it in 140 characters or less. President Obama's re-election Twitter account lost thousands of followers Friday after his 2012 campaign tried to use the social media site to turn up the heat on Republicans over the debt ceiling.

The account, @BarackObama, sent out scores of tweets Friday listing the Twitter handles for dozens of GOP members of Congress.

"If you live in Wisconsin, ask @SenRonJohnson to support a bipartisan compromise to the debt crisis," one tweet said.

Earlier in the day, the president called on Americans to use Twitter, as well as other forms of communication, to send a message to Congress to end the stalemate.

"Let your members of Congress know, make a phone call, send an e-mail, tweet, keep the pressure on Washington and we can get past this," the President said.

But the tweet offensive may have backfired. Or is that back-tweeted?

According to the website Twitter Counter, the account lost tens of thousands of followers Friday.

White House reporters and the president's critics questioned whether Mr. Obama's re-election campaign was spamming its more than nine million followers.

"Bam's spam? President Barack Obama takes debt battle to Twitter, loses more than 33,000 followers," the Twitter account @whitehousepresscorps tweeted as of 6pm Friday.

An Obama re-election campaign official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, brushed off the account's losses, arguing there's a "natural burn rate" any time you send an email or tweet.

Members of Congress tweeted back their frustrations.

"Dear #Obamatons you are ruining my interactions with thoughtful democrats with this spam. And U R hurting your President," tweeted Rep. Dennis Ross R-Florida.

Filed under: Debt • Deficit • President Obama • Twitter
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. PJ

    Wait, how is this a backfire? Given the number of his followers, he didn't even lose 1%.

    July 29, 2011 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  2. Norma Vessels

    NO, Sir – Rep. Ross - you and your friends on the Republican side are hurting the President - because you
    have no intention of working for what most Americans want -- you and your friends in the House have done
    nothing to help – nothing but obstruct anything our President wants. Don't give me that tale about 'interactions'
    with Democrats - you have no intention of doing anything constructive.

    July 29, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  3. mikael

    REP Dennis ross is an idiot!!!!

    July 29, 2011 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  4. Aaron

    Chances are that the 33K lost were already hardcore Repubs and those brainwashed by Fox News over the years. It's a small percentage, but not on CNN apparently, which made a big deal of the crowds greeting Palin in PA...turned out to be like 100 people.

    July 29, 2011 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  5. notsodumb

    Obama is a completely useless IDIOT!!!!! He is so bad that he can't even be used as a bad example......

    July 29, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  6. Sank

    This man is a fool and not long for our pain n the Capital.

    July 29, 2011 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  7. valerie

    they need to think about how people how are on s.s are going the live with out a way to pay there bills and eat. If you all on the hill there would loss your pay cheacks and health care lets not for get that. I don't have health care but the pople that get a mounthly cheack that may not get one will have to go with out there health care they i not have to money to pay the mountly payment. think of others .

    July 29, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  8. RachelM

    'Bams spam'? Seems more like the twits who tweet are just tired of hearing about the debt debacle.

    July 29, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  9. Bob in Pa

    Thats the problem with this Whitehouse crew. They think they are in a country dominated by mod rule and if they can create the illusion of mass support, they will win the argument.

    July 29, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  10. Errm

    Omabatons? What a mature term. Sounds a lot like what the paid bots on message boards call us. Is there something you'd like to tell us, Representative Ross?

    July 29, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  11. Bob

    Wow, those 33,000 just have to be racists I suppose..

    July 29, 2011 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  12. valwayne

    Our nation has 9.2% UNEMPLOYMENT, record long term UNEMPLOYMENT, nation destroying levels of debt run up by Obama, and the debt ceiling mess. Yet, Obama has NO PLAN, all he does is blame and whine. Obama's idea of Presidential Leadership seems limited to "Tweet your Congressman"? That is why we elected Obama President? With massive UNEMPLOYMENT and a filing economy the best he can do is tell us to "Tweet Our Congressman"?????? How absurd. Can anybody imagine a FDR, a JFK, or a Reagan with UNEMPLOYMENT at 9.2%, the economy in shambles, and a debt ceiling crisis exercising Presidential Leadership by saying "Tweet your Congressman"? Obama is such a loser!

    July 29, 2011 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  13. Lorraine

    President Obama,
    PLEASE do not give in to the GOP demands I am a middle class American and I am tired of being robbed from the rich hold your ground and vote democratic 2012!! (:

    July 29, 2011 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  14. Maria

    I was very happy to see the tweeter accounts of the representatives in my state. It saved me a lot of time. Besides, even people who don't like someone will follow just to see what they are up to. I know I do that and stop following them when I can't take it anymore.

    July 29, 2011 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  15. elle

    bueller? bueller?

    July 29, 2011 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  16. molleja

    This guy, Obama, Has got to go. He is a joke and an utterly pathetic failure as president.

    July 29, 2011 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  17. Jon

    Hey, it's not like they're mass-emailing everyone. Everyone on that list chose to hit the "follow" button.

    July 29, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  18. Doug B

    He lost about .3%, is that really news and would it be if he wasn't the first black president? What a joke the so called liberal media is, mainly because it's not liberal

    July 29, 2011 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  19. "He's Dead Jim."

    Some guy at 7-11 asked me if I had some spare change. I said, "Give O'bama a call if you want some change buddy."

    July 29, 2011 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  20. Dann DFW

    I feel like I went to sleep and work up back in jr. high school. Will somebody please come get me when the adults return?

    July 29, 2011 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  21. Steve-Illinois

    A tweet from a twit!

    July 30, 2011 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  22. Palin Power

    This is a very clear sign that Obozo is going to be a 1 term EPIC FAIL and will LOSE to Sarah Palin in 2012. Palin has more followers on Twitter and Facebook than Obozo and she will be our next and greatest President.

    July 30, 2011 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  23. Jim

    Is he still trying to be cutting edge and cute with his social networking routine? Give it up already!

    July 30, 2011 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  24. BCA

    Why is it "your president"? Do the 8 years of Bush not count because I don't accept him as the president of the United States? I'm so tired of party politics, that's not what our country was to be about, and it's really screwing us over big time.

    July 30, 2011 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  25. Matthew

    I really would say this isn't the complete story – do some Twitter searches for the reps he asked constituents to contact and it's pretty overwhelming how many people got involved. I'm sure more than 30-40-50k even and seriously losing 36,000 followers is just over a third of a percent of people who probably weren't supporters anyway. Personally I contacted my rep and began following BO for the first time.

    July 30, 2011 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
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