President Obama’s Twitter account, which is operated by the Organizing for Action team and not the president himself, decided to use social media’s Throwback Thursday trend to address the Supreme Court’s controversial Hobby Lobby decision.
The OFA camp tweeted ”Throwback to last week when a woman—not her boss—made her own decisions about her health care. #TBT,” along with a picture of a mock ad with the words “Talk to your boss about birth control and find out if it’s right for you.” Noticeably, the word boss appears above a scratched out “doctor”.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 3, 2014
The tweet is a reference to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on Monday that for-profit corporations with strong religious beliefs will not be forced to pay for coverage of a full range of contraceptives to employees in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. The tweet had nearly 7,000 retweets and nearly 6,000 favorites as of press time.
Social media users typically use Throwback Thursday on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to post lighthearted, fun pictures of themselves from several years ago, rather than using the hashtag to address serious issues like women’s rights and religious rights. Even Colin Powell famously posted a 1950′s selfie with the #TBT hashtag on his Facebook account back in March.
President Obama’s twitter account also used the #TBT hashtag for their dog Bo last year.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 1, 2013
The GOP posted a Throwback Thursday of its own Thursday, citing changes in the Affordable Care Act that they say came as a surprise around this time last year.
A blog posted today on the House Energy and Commerce Committee states, “Just one year ago, the Obama administration quietly announced two major changes to the president’s health care law while most Americans were enjoying fireworks, pool parties, and barbecues with loved ones.” The blog, titled Last Year’s Fourth of July Obamacare Surprises, describes the two changes as the initial delay to the employer mandate announced on July 2 and the substitution of an honor system instead of the eligibility verification process for the exchanges announced on July 5.
The Supreme Court’s decision, commonly referred to as the Hobby Lobby case, has prompted praise from Republicans and disappointment from Democrats. Though nowhere near a large-scale repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the decision was viewed as a small win for Republicans.
ABC’s Jonathan Karl questioned White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest about the #TBT tweet during Monday’s press briefing. Earnest explained that the @barackobama Twitter handle is maintained strictly by the political organization Organizing for Action and independent of the White House. Earnest insisted that he was not aware of the tweet and that he was not sure whether or not the President was. After Jonathan Karl explained what OFA tweeted from the @barackobama account, Earnest did say that the White House’s position on the Hobby Lobby decision parallels that of what was tweeted. ”It sounds like, based on your description, that it is consistent with a priority that the president and this administration have attempted to advance, which is that women should have the freedom to make their own decisions about their health care without interference from their boss.”
ABC’s Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.