By David Jackson, USA TODAY
Another company learns the pitfalls of social media.
The appliance seller KitchenAid has apologized for an "irresponsible tweet" about President Obama's late grandmother, whom he invoked during Wednesday night's debate in a discussion about Social Security and Medicare.
Deploying Twitter-speak, KitchenAid sent this message: "Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! 'She died 3 days b4 he became president."
Obama grandmother, Madelyn Payne Dunham, who helped raise the future president, died the same week as the 2008 election.
After scores of complaints, KitchenAid tweeted out an apology: "Deepest apologies for an irresponsible tweet that is in no way a representation of the brand's opinion."
Company officials said an employee mistakenly sent out the critical comment on the corporate account, rather than a personal one.
KitchenAid's Cynthia Soledad told Mashable in an e-mail:
"During the debate tonight, a member of our Twitter team mistakenly posted an offensive tweet from the KitchenAid handle instead of a personal handle. The tasteless joke in no way represents our values at KitchenAid, and that person won't be tweeting for us anymore. That said, I lead the KitchenAid brand, and I take responsibility for the whole team. I am deeply sorry to President Obama, his family, and the Twitter community for this careless error. Thanks for hearing me out."
Here is what Obama said last night:
"My grandmother, some of you know, helped to raise me -- my grandparents did. My grandfather died a while back. My grandmother died three days before I was elected president. And she was fiercely independent. She worked her way up -- only had a high school education, started as a secretary, ended up being the vice president of a local bank. And she ended up living alone by choice. And the reason she could be independent was because of Social Security and Medicare.
"She had worked all her life, put in this money, and understood that there was a basic guarantee, a floor under which she could not go. And that's the perspective I bring when I think about what's called entitlements. The name itself implies some sense of dependency on the part of these folks. These are folks who've worked hard, like my grandmother, and there are millions of people out there who are counting on this."