From Facebook to Twitter, Candidates Trade Final Iowa Jabs on Social Media

Tuesday, 03 Jan 2012 02:48 PM

By Paul Scicchitano

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As GOP presidential candidates try to make a final connection with Iowa voters today, some also are using social media to throw final jabs at their opponents and galvanize supporters.

“Rick Santorum is unelectable and we need to defeat Barack Obama,” tweeted Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whose campaign released a video critical of Santorum’s record in the Senate.

Perry, who has been trailing in most polls, started caucus day by declaring in a message on his Twitter account that today is “Game day” and thanking Iowans who are trying to make a difference.

“Today is the day we conservatives have been waiting for! The eyes of the nation are watching Iowa, and we need your help to ensure a strong showing at the caucuses tonight,” Perry said on Facebook.

Meanwhile, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumed frontrunner in Iowa's caucuses, called his supporters to action and took jabs at President Obama.

“Iowa can help put an end to @BarackObama’s failed leadership. Take action today & join the GOTV from home team,” he tweeted.

Romney also posted a link to his petition to limit government spending on Facebook. “We have a moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in. If you agree, stand with me and sign the petition,” he wrote.

Santorum, whose campaign has experienced a late surge in recent days, tweeted: “Morning Iowa! Today is the day.”

Participating in “Rock the Caucus,” Santorum later told an audience of Iowa high school students that their concerns over career and education will be short-term worries.

“The longer-term problems are the ones that are going to affect you more profoundly,” he said. “Hold those candidates to the standard of solving the intractable problems of an exploding federal government, of an exploding debt that’s going to crush your economic future.”

Santorum encouraged the students to look for differences in the way the candidates propose to solve such problems.

“Take a look. There are different ways of solving these problems,” he said. “Barack Obama has one way and I have another. Look at them. Make sure they are real. Make sure you can see how we can accomplish this vision of getting this economy going, not just in the short-term stimulus but for long-term stable growth so you and your family can live free and prosper in a safe country.”

Texas Rep. Ron Paul took a swipe at Santorum on his Facebook page. “He spends too much money. He wasn’t leading the charge to slash the budgets and vote against big government,” according to a post today.
Paul, who has also been gaining momentum in recent days, appealed to high school students at the same rally where Santorum spoke.

“You can understand foreign policy. You can understand economic policy if you understand the principle of economic liberty,” Paul told the students. “The purpose of the Constitution is to restrain the federal government, not to restrain you as an individual.”

He warned his young audience that there is a danger the federal government will attempt to take away Internet privacy.
“Believe me, the Internet is very, very valuable,” he explained. “If you lose the privacy of the Internet, you have lost a big hunk of your freedom.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who made headlines early in the day by acknowledging in an interview that he believed Romney to be a” liar” sent multiple tweets attempting to play up his experience in Washington and differentiate himself from rivals, including Romney.

"Newt's the only candidate that will balance the federal budget, and he's the smartest guy on the stage," tweeted the Gingrich campaign.

Other tweets talked about Gingrich’s involvement in passing the largest capital gains tax cut in history and his role in balancing the budget for “four straight” years.

“Newt's economic plan is ‘the most aggressive now, and it shows you how timid Romney's is in comparison,’” the campaign tweeted.

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