ABC News’ John R. Parkinson (@JRPabcDC) reports:
House and Senate Republicans are flooding President Obama’s first Twitter Townhall with questions about jobs, using the president’s historic social media outreach to engage with the president by using the White House’s requested #askobama hashtag to draw attention to GOP tweets that press the president on the economy and other contentious issues.
Earlier this morning, @SpeakerBoehner, the official Twitter account of House Speaker John Boehner, tweeted: “Will you outline a plan #4jobs – other than more spending – for the American people? http://bit.ly/jr7prr #askobama GOP plan: jobs.gop.gov.”
Later, the speaker tweeted: “With 9.1% unemployment & “shovel ready” jobs a bust, will you admit the 'stimulus' was a mistake? http://bit.ly/oTK17f #askobama” and “Republicans #askobama to outline plan #4jobs that doesn’t involve more spending, taxing, regulating http://j.mp/o1bpzE @townhall.”
Boehner does not personally do the tweeting for the account. It’s handled by staff.
Brendan Buck, a spokesman for the speaker, says it is not the intent of Republicans to "crash" the townhall, but rather the barage of questions demonstrates "House Republicans’ effort to engage the President today in a discussion about jobs" and show off the GOP's "own new media prowess."
In his own tweet, Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, welcomed the GOP's questions.
@pfeiffer44: “Great to see so many folks discussing the #askObama townhall across the ideological spectrum, feels like what twitter was made for”
One top Republican, the chairman of the House Budget committee, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., asked the president to set up a genuine debate to solve negotiations to increase the debt ceiling: “@RepPaulRyan: #AskObama Fearmongering won’t solve our debt crisis. Americans deserve a real debate. You pick: when and where? #2Futures.”
Other GOP-controlled Twitter accounts have joined in on the action.
Here is a sample of other tweets from various Republican committee accounts:
And a host of various Republican individuals tweeting on a range of topics, from Libya to Immigration:
@TomRooney: So what would constitute hostilities? #AskObama
@CongJoeWilson: Mr. President, Congress passed your “stimulus” package. Why then is unemployment still above 9%? #AskObama
Republican Senators are similarly asking the president sharp questions, mostly about the debt ceiling negotiations:
@SenRonJohnson: As the debt ceiling deadline approaches, will you continue to try and scare the markets, or calm them? #AskObama
@OrrinHatch: You said it wasn’t a good idea to raise taxes in a recession but that is all you offer now to fix debt. Why? #AskObama
@DavidVitter: #AskObama Why his administration didn’t do any economic impact analysis before issuing the moratorium?
@RoyBlunt: Why haven't you called on your own party leaders who control the Senate to pass a budget for nearly 800 days? #AskObama
And even a tough question from a Senate Democrat as well:
@SenRockefeller: Can you work with Democrats to make sure that Medicaid is protected from reckless cuts?”
ABC News' Sunlen Miller, Ann Compton & Steven Portnoy contributed to this report.