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. rdg18

    Odumbo should be arrested for cyber terrorism.

    July 30, 2011 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  2. Stephanie

    So what! This isnt even news. The amount of followers he lost doesn't even equate to 0.4% of his total follwers so this isn't a big deal. The followers he lost were probably not true supporters anyways. More like accounts set-up to up to see what he tweets to his true supporters.

    July 30, 2011 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  3. chicago dude

    bye Obama, finally people are seeing the light. Shadiest of all those in Washington.

    July 30, 2011 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  4. vivian m.

    Obama's still a tweetheart as far as I am concerned. I think he rocks. I want him to kick butt in the next election.

    July 30, 2011 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  5. TD2011

    Good Idea in Principle, but because tweeting only allows about 160 characters a few hundred tweets were necessary. This may have been annoying for some, but I am happy to now have my representatives twitter accounts. I hope they listen to their constituents.

    July 30, 2011 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  6. jesse

    Not really surprised by this at all. Not only do they need a do not mail list, but apparently a do not tweet list. No one likes spam. It's annoying and like shouveling S*** to deal with. Everyone of these guys should learn not to do it.

    July 30, 2011 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  7. Sue

    Rep Ross should not have called them Obamatons. They are more frequently referred to as O-bots and Obama drones. They have no thoughts or ideas of their own, they just think/know what Obama wants them to think and know.

    July 30, 2011 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  8. useless

    Tweeting like that is completely useless. Every tweet was for a few people only, yet it showed up in everybody's time line. To me it looked like computer output going wrong. All those messages obscured other messages. There is no way to filter messages in Twitter so I unsubscribed.

    July 30, 2011 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  9. Dude

    You guys know that it's not spam when the user has opted in on multiple levels right? Just checking 'cuz it sounds like the person writing this article doesn't grasp the Internet basics at all.

    July 30, 2011 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  10. Marry

    The GOP/TP shows itself for what they really are: The party of „NO, HELL NO!“ never mind the consequences. How some people find that “attractive” or “responsible” behavior for the future is hard to understand! Shame on people that just to oppose the (black) President push the American and World economies over the brink!

    July 30, 2011 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
  11. WhatTheHeck

    "ruining my interactions with thoughtful democrats with this spam" HEY – Tweets ARE spam of mind-stuff.

    July 30, 2011 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
  12. TiredOfIt

    At least we finally have a President who wants to ENGAGE with Americans, as opposed to just sending them off to fight a war for his big oil/big war machine buddies.

    July 30, 2011 05:48 am at 5:48 am |
  13. studdmuffins

    Unbelievable. The president thinks he can tweet his way out of this mess.

    July 30, 2011 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  14. Corey M.

    "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.

    Rep. Ross, unless you live in a foreign country, Barack Obama is OUR President. If you can't respect the position, maybe you should seek another line of work.

    July 30, 2011 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  15. fbysea

    Rep. Dennis Ross (R) Florida. Mr Obama is YOUR president as well, sir.

    July 30, 2011 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  16. Mallory Archer

    "Tens of thousands" of followers, huh? I'd wager that the President's twitter account was hacked, especially considering the ONLY comment associated with this story is a negative one from a rethugliban who immediately started name calling (yes, I realize I just name-called, but it started with a rethugliban congressjerk.

    July 30, 2011 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  17. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    I support the President but I just don't tweet. it is better to get out and talk to people

    July 30, 2011 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  18. Amber

    LOL!!! Maybe the prez should have used his teleprompter when tweeting!!! Or, maybe people finally see that it's all about HIM and not the country. Love the loss of followers. Maybe we can garner some HOPE to save this country from the cliff afterall.

    July 30, 2011 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  19. Robert

    This clown is the worst president ever!

    July 30, 2011 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  20. Suze

    Funny, from those tweets, I then was able to tweet my congressperson, so I was thankful.

    July 30, 2011 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  21. hotgirlshotpooh

    oboza is getting flushed

    July 30, 2011 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  22. Willy Brown

    Affirmative Action Figure's epic failure

    July 30, 2011 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  23. Carlos

    I don't get it.

    July 30, 2011 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  24. HR

    One more example of just what an idiot Obummer is – he should be run out of town tarred and feathered.

    July 30, 2011 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  25. CMcG

    For the math challenged out there, 33K out of over 9M is approximately 1/3 of 1%. It seems a bit of a stretch to describe this as a "backfire".

    July 30, 2011 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
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