Donald Trump knows how to utilize social media, or at least his campaign does. The business mogul-turned-reality-TV star-turned-Republican presidential candidate has over three million followers on Twitter and regularly tweets out messages about other candidates and divisive political issues.
One hundred forty characters, a well-placed hashtag, an opposing candidate’s username, and you’ve got yourself Mr. Trump’s not-so-secret weapon.
Although we’re still at least six or seven months away from the primaries, Trump currently holds a solid lead in the GOP field. But a recent CBS News Poll, while acknowledging that he was the choice of 24 percent of Republican voters, also said that he tops the list of candidates that GOP voters would be most dissatisfied with as the party’s nominee.
As The Christian Science Monitor's Husna Haq reported, "He strikes a chord with angry, disaffected voters" – an ever-growing constituency amid what many conservatives view as a liberalization of American politics.
And The Donald knows it. His tweets are candid, often brash, and always opinionated. Unlike some other Republican candidates, Trump uses adjectives like "dopey" to describe columnists, news anchors, and presidential candidates alike. He also has the most Twitter followers out all 17 of his Republican running mates, giving him a clear advantage in the social media realm.
Here are four of the Donald's top tweets.
Many of his tweets echo his campaign slogan, "Make America great again," whether in the context of rebuilding America or taking back the country from the liberal administration. And voters love it. One user replied, “[Trump] will take our country back, secure our border, create jobs, strengthen our military and help our VETS!”
Trump has also taken stabs at several other presidential candidates – both Republican and Democrat. He tweeted about Jeb Bush after Mr. Bush announced he’d raised over $100 million toward his campaign in the first half of the year, as the Los Angeles Times reported. A recent report by the Federal Election Commission revealed that Bush and Hillary Clinton were leading the pack in donations and funds from super PACs, as the New York Times reported. Trump, on the other hand, is financing his campaign out of his own deep pockets.
In his June presidential announcement, he said that Mexican immigrants were bringing "drugs," "crime," and "rapists" to the US. Trump's critics were quick to jump on his inflammatory comments, but he didn’t back down from his hard-line approach, saying he would build a wall along the US-Mexico border to keep out illegal immigrants. One person replied, "I agree with you!" and another said, "love it!!!!"
And The Donald wasted no time criticizing CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, in a particularly vitriolic tweet, after Mr. Cooper questioned his viability as a candidate in a TV interview.
But, despite his social media shenanigans, Trump told Cooper he’d “change [his] tone” as president.