Obama Is Tweeting Up A Storm — And Even Agreeing With Mitt Romney — On The Aftermath Of The Charleston Shooting
He's only been tweeting from his personal account for a month, but in that short time, President Obama has been giving the American people a deeper look at his job as POTUS. Save for a few questions on climate change during a designated Q&A, the account has been mostly lighthearted. That changed following the tragic fatal shooting of nine people at Charleston's Emmanuel AME Church, however. Obama took to Twitter to push for gun control, citing statistics linking a higher rate of gun-related deaths in the U.S. than many other developed nations.
This is the first time Obama has advocated for more stringent gun control laws on Twitter specifically, but it's certainly not a new tactic. The president offered a press conference following the Charleston shooting that directly linked gun availability to the crime, stating that it was the ease of acquiring a weapon that may have ultimately motivated the suspect, Dylann Roof, to allegedly commit such a heinous crime. Says Obama:
But let’s be clear: At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it.
Obama sent out a series of three tweets Saturday in relation to the tragedy in Charleston, one of which shows the president agreeing with Mitt Romney — yes, Mitt Romney — on the highly contentious issue of South Carolina continuing to display the Confederate flag in the wake of the shooting. The 2012 GOP presidential nominee is one of the few prominent Republicans facing the Confederate flag issue head on rather than considering it a states' rights issue.
Romney tweeted that displaying the flag was a dishonor to the victims of the Charleston shooting and that "to many, it is a symbol of racial hatred." Obama retweeted Romney's statements, adding "Good point, Mitt" to his message.
This may be a sign of a social media shift from Obama, who has a little over a year and half left in office. The Atlantic's Adam Chandler posits that, compared to other speeches made regarding mass shootings, Obama's speech on Charleston signifies a a major shift for the two-term president. Obama has no other presidential elections to win, and may well be less concerned with popularity numbers for that reason. The president's tweets go hand in hand with that speech — and you can expect his next major address on a specific policy to integrate more social media.
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