@SpeakerBoehner, @GOP highjacking #AskObama Twitter Townhall?

By John R Parkinson

Jul 6, 2011 12:28pm

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: 

@GOPSmallBiz: #askobama How do you plan to get agencies to better assess the impact of their regulations on small businesses? http://t.co/hecXv7J #4jobs 

@HouseCommerce: Do you support increased American energy production? Tapping the SPR is not a longterm solution. #AskObama #4jobs http://tiny.cc/2vefq 

@WaysandMeansGOP: #AskObama Why do you want 2 increase taxes on employers instead of cutting spending 2 get our debt under cntrl #4jobs?www.jobs.gop.gov 

@GOPOversight: #AskObama: how are your job-crushing #regulations helping #smallbiz owners like Neil? VIDEO: http://bit.ly/kSU6UI #4jobs 

And a host of various Republican individuals tweeting on a range of topics, from Libya to Immigration: 

@TomRooney: So what would constitute hostilities? #AskObama 

@RepShimkus: #AskObama If you raise taxes on a commodity, does that make the commodity more or less expensive to end-consumers? And is that good #4jobs

@USRepAlexander: #AskObama when he is going to put the Gulf Coast back to work. GOP passed #Americanenergy solutions to create #4Jobs & lower price @ pump. 

@RepSoutherland: #AskObama why his administration is placing the majority of American #offshore #energy resources off limits? http://t.co/bDw9CCp 

@BuckMcKeon: Mr. President, unemployment in my home state of CA is at 11.7%. My constituents want to know, where are the jobs? #AskObama #4jobs 

@BilbrayCA50: #AskObama: With 13.9mill Americans unemployed and 11mill illegal aliens in US do you support EVerify to secure #4Jobs for legal workers? 

@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.

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus