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. mj

    It serves him right! How childish can a President be? Calls for bi-partisanship, yet Tweets to bash Republicans. Just where is his plan? He is more worried about his fund raiser next week and birthday party. Democrats want 2 things: Unlimited Spending with more borrowed money.

    July 30, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. John

    Obama is a horrible person, he is a person you would not like if you met him. He is an arrogant jerk.

    July 30, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  3. Sue

    Obama is hoping that Congress resolves this problem ASAP for him--he has a birthday party to attend, and a vacation in Martha's Vineyard coming up. Plus, he probably swears to himself every night-when he thinks about how many golf outtings he has missed.

    July 30, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. Jim

    This Repulican bill to have a balanced budget will not work as stated below.

    I have 3 major problems with this bill.

    1.- The Balanse budget is huge: We would no longer be able to Declare National emergencies.
    A.- This would mean the states could no longer have a Balance Budget because they would have to pay for the Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Earthquakes, or floods.
    B.- We would have to dismantle FEMA. The states could no longer complain that FEMA was slow.

    2. – The defense Department could no longer be used. It would take 2/3 vote to reply to attacks such as 9/11 or Pearl Harbor.

    3. – There are NO provisions as to what would be cut. I saw the bill and it said 19% of GNP in the cap and 6trillion in cuts but it does not say what would be cut.

    July 30, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. grvol

    Obama should advertise on Jersey Shore, Dancing with the Stars, American Idol and all those other network reality shows that the ignorant sheep who supported him the first time continue to watch while he moves the country toward socialism, bankruptcy and third world status.

    July 30, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  6. AskBrad

    It must be Bush's fault that he lost the followers.

    July 30, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |

    He gained me!

    July 30, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |


    July 30, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Republicans keep saying they are the voice of the people... and yet when the voices of the people ACTUALLY try to talk to them they consider it a malicious attack.
    I thought you said you are listening to people! Just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean I am malaciously attacking you. Listening only to people who just parrot the same republican pundits is hardly 'listening to the people.'

    July 30, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. Peter E

    Exactly why is asking people to voice their opinions a bad thing? I thought we lived in a democracy. And republicans use this tactic all the time. If you want an infamous example, look up Operation Coffee Cup, and how republicans tried to derail the creation of Medicare to begin with with a small group of housewives spamming Congress.

    July 30, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. geen

    as a progressive, and even though he is a professional politician and I didn't vote for either bush or obama in last election, i did however hold out a tad bit of hope for Obama. It has become increasingly clear to me, and it should to everyone, that this guy hasn't got a clue. People who were opposed to the moron (bush) and his policies should love Obama..he, like his predecessor, is becoming a perfect storm of incompetence. like hs predecessor, he is pro-war (1050 americans have been senselessly wasted in afghanistan in 2 /1/2 years as opposed to 630 in 8 years under the moron...he is pro nuclear power, pro torture, pro patriot act, anti fourth amendment, pro torture....and it goes on and on..and, with the economy, as well as the congress..he is totally clueless.....I don't have the solutions...but of one thing I'm certain..Obama doesnt!

    July 30, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. Roger Ogilivy Thornhill

    If you're on Twitter, you'll be tweeted. Duh!

    July 30, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  12. jim

    Come tuesday, his tweet will say – kiss your welfare check goodbye.

    July 30, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. US Citizen

    I havefelt no greater compulsion to speak out on the behalf of those who won't speak out than I have now. This country once maintained values that spoke out against leaving the weakest of us hungry. It seems now that we are so enthralled with making sure that we are left alone thatwehave forgotten what made this country great. There are few among you that can deny that your own family has at one time taken advantage of the safety that this great country has guaranteed. I want to ask you to think deep in your heart. I am going to ask you to look beyond your own wants. Who doesn't want to pay less taxe so that he or she may provide a better living for the family? No one can say that they do not. However, what if you had more than enough to met your own needs and the needs of your family for generations to come? Would you feel compelled to ensure that society as a whole was a better place? A place where you could feel that you had contributed suficiently as a leader of this nation? I, for one, am not comfortable knowing that the country may suffer because I stand to profit. It is high time that the well off realize that a better standard of living for all can only serve their own best interests. Remember that the poverty that you encourage will some day end up at your own doorstep. An economy where the wealth is held by few is doomed to failure. A fool ignores the lessons of the past.

    July 30, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Martin

    I was one of the followers who "unfollowed". It was ridiculous, the number of tweets being sent out.

    I get the "contact your Congressperson" idea, but enough with the dozens of tweets already. I won't be following again.

    July 30, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  15. Chris

    Obama has 9 million followers and gains about 10,000 – 15,000 per day πŸ™‚ So losing 36,000 or 0.4% is less than a drop in a bucket (about 2 -3 days of followers) Typical news sensationalizing things they don't know anything about.

    July 30, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. Sue

    Can you just imagine what is going to happen to Obama's approval/disapproval numbers--when he goes on vacation in a few weeks, after members of Congress did ALL of the work to solve this crisis?? Independents-the largest voting block in the country-put this idiot in the White House. And, the majority of Independents are now awake and aware that he is clueless and worthless. Obama is one and done!!! The 2012 elections cannot get here fast enough!!

    July 30, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. GI Joe

    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.
    Republicans LUV when the above is idolized beyond belief, but HATE when the President of the United States does it? HATE MUCH???? (idiots)

    July 30, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. Dave

    Whenever I send a newsletter at work there are people who unsubscribe. EVERY TIME. If we freaked out ove it, we'd never send another letter. Same situation here with the president on Twitter.

    July 30, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. T'sah from Virginia

    Separate but not equal
    Stay tuned for the sequel
    It's MY way or the HIGHWAY
    If bipartisan then it will FLYAWAY!!!!

    Separate is NOT equal
    We are READY for the sequel
    It’s NOT going to be YOUR WAY
    It WILL be bipartisan before this DAY....................August 2, 2011

    compromise, Compromise, COmpromise, COMpromise, COMPromise, COMPRomise, COMPROmise, COMPROMise, COMPROMIse, COMPROMISe, COMPROMISE!!!! Is this loud and clear???????

    July 30, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. Mike Dallas

    It is not like President Obama paid them to form phone banks to robo call the reps, like the GOP Koch heads do for their "Koch cash".

    July 30, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  21. Bone Fide

    POTUS should have spoken to the country. Explain how he intends diminishing debt that is crippling this great country.
    How om earth can we continue to borrow money without any chance of paying it back. Our grandchildren will be paying interest for the rest of their lives. Those who listen to our POTUS must still believe in the Tooth Fairy. Wake up people, be careful. Dont destroy our country. Think very carefully about everyones future.

    July 30, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  22. Stryker

    Following that account doesn't mean you support Obama. I'm I Democrat, I follow that account, and since Obama has acted as a Republican, totally abandoning any Democratic principals, and has sold us all out, as well as being the architect of destroying Social Security and Medicare, I definitely won't be voting for Obama. I'm hoping the Democratic party realizes that Obama has killed his base, and can't be elected by Independents (who are really Republicans anyway). We need a Democratic convention to find a candidate who can beat lunatics like Michelle Bachman. Obama won't even be able to do that. So, that his twitter site has followers, is no indication whatever of support for his re-election. There is no more loyal Democrat than me, and I absolutely, positively will not vote for again, or work for again, or contribute to again an Obama campaign as I have done. Further, I apologize to the country, and to the millions of Americans who will lose their Social Security and Medicare, for my Obama vote. I can only offer that I believed what he said, and sadly, I was not alone in the error in judgement.

    July 30, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  23. Mah

    I thought it was a genius move on the Obama admin part. Get involved, any way you can. A lot of representatives are taking to twitter and other social media to connect with their constituents. It's an easy way to send them a message. Now, whether they'll ever read it is a whole 'nother story.

    July 30, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  24. John

    I added 30 followers to the Obama twitter through my Facebook account. I would like to know how many did he pick up?

    July 30, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. Scott A

    People should contact Republican and Democratic representatives about blocking Boehner's "Ruin America" bill (as he and his followers probably refer to it privately). Republican representatives should be called to think with their heart and their brain rather than their wallet. Democratic representatitves should be called to grow a spine and not give into the Republicans (like Boehner and these tea party people) who are incapable of caring about America.

    July 30, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
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