Put the phone down and step away from the keypad.
Like many members of the public, some politicians have regretted remarks posted to social media. Thoughts that made sense in private sometimes rankle the public. And in this day and age, there is no erasing a 140-character message no matter how quickly it gets deleted. We take a look at some past and recent tweets that caused uproar and had representatives having to do damage control. #twitterworldproblems
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|McCain's Iran Monkey Remarks|
A member of Sen. John McCain's own party called the senator racist for his tweet Monday that compared the Iranian president to a monkey.
Ahmadinejad previously told BBC Monday that he was "ready to be sacrificed by the scientists of my country and go into space," and that the country will send an Iranian astronaut to space within six years.
McCain then quickly followed up the tweet with:
[Re: Iran space tweet – lighten up folks, can't everyone take a joke?]
Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., then replied to McCain's second tweet, saying, "Maybe you should wisen up & not make racist jokes."
Though some experts say the word "monkey" could be associated with racial undertones, others who have worked with McCain have said it has nothing to do with race.
Still some have tweeted that it is justified for McCain to tweet his dislike of Ahmadinejad because of the remarks the Iran leader has made about Israelis.
|Ron Paul's Metaphor Mishap|
Former Texas Representative Ron Paul tweeted out a metaphor Monday to respond to the fatal shooting of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle last weekend.
The suspect charged for the shooting is 25-year-old Eddie Routh, a veteran who served in Iraq and Haiti and who police say may have been suffering from some type of mental illness from being in the military.
Another man who was also at the shooting range, identified as 35-year-old Chad Littlefield, was also shot at point-blank range and killed. Kyle and Littlefield had taken Routh to the shooting range to aid his recovery, according to police. But Paul wanted to know why Routh was even at the shooting range.
Paul received negative reaction from people who felt he was disrespecting both Kyle and those suffering from PTSD in the wake of such a tragic occurrence.
GOP strategist Rick Wilson tweeted, "You really are vile," while others called Paul "insensitive."
In response to the criticism, Paul posted the following on his Facebook:
"As a veteran, I certainly recognize that this weekend's violence and killing of Chris Kyle were a tragic and sad event. My condolences and prayers go out to Mr. Kyle's family. Unconstitutional and unnecessary wars have endless unintended consequences. A policy of non-violence, as Christ preached, would have prevented this and similar tragedies. -REP"
Paul has not removed the tweet. He runs his own twitter feed.
|Rep. Labrador's Super Bowl Slip-Up|
This tweet, which originated on Sunday during the Super Bowl was deleted 14 seconds after it was put up. It was likely made in reference to a racy commercial that aired during the event for the CBS TV show, '2 Broke Girls.'
Labrador is a second second-term Republican from Idaho's first congressional district, a Mormon and a father of five.
Labrador's office blames "staff error" for the mistake. The following tweet also appears on Labrador spokesman Phil Hardy's twitter feed: "Me likey Broke Girls. But have never seen their show!"
No word yet on whether the tweet was actually at the hands of Labrador or Hardy.
|Sandy Unfounded Rumors|
A campaign manager for a candidate for New York's 12th Congressional district resigned last fall after spreading false rumors about the effects of Hurricane Sandy. The campaign manager, 29-year-old Shashank Tripathi, used the Twitter handle @ComfortablySmug to tweet false reports including that the New York Stock Exchange had been flooded and that a utility company was preemptively shutting down power in all of Manhattan.
Tripathi was identified by Buzzfeed, and he later resigned from his job, tweeting the following apology:
"During a natural disaster that threatened the entire city, I made a series of irresponsible and inaccurate tweets. While some would use the anonymity and instant feedback of social media as an excuse, I take full responsibility for my actions."
Tripathi was the the campaign manager for Republican candidate Christopher Wight, who ended up losing the election for the U.S. House seat.
|Rep. Long's Winehouse Flap|
Missouri congressman Billy Long received criticism for this tweeted comparison of Amy Winehouse's death to the economy. The Twitter-verse called him "dumb" and others remarked on his lack of empathy for the recently deceased.
Long later apologized in a response he sent to a local paper:
"Although I do believe spending 42 percent more than we take in is an addiction, I certainly meant no disrespect to Amy, her family or her fans," he said. " What happened to her was a senseless tragedy and drawing an analogy wasn't meant to minimize the loss of life."
Paramedics found Winehouse dead in her London home on July 23, 2011 from an alcohol overdose.