U College Republicans protest Obama in Denver

By By Jed Layton, Staff Writer

By Jed Layton, Staff Writer

DENVER8212;Max Loveless is not one of the thousands of university students supporting Barack Obama’s Democratic bid for the White House.

Instead, Loveless is promoting Republican candidate John McCain at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, amid a sea of college-aged Obama fans.

“Not all young people are supporting Barack Obama,” said Loveless, a junior majoring in history. “Our goal is to show that a lot of young students are in support of John McCain.”

Loveless is with six other students representing the U College Republicans and is volunteering in Denver for the convention. The U students have been in Denver since Saturday helping the Colorado GOP by handing out flyers, stickers, posters and letting people know the student voice for McCain exists.

“Since Colorado is a swing state, we felt we needed to come and help during this convention,” said Heather Berg, chairwoman for the U College Republicans. “All of the kids here feel that we need to show that John McCain has a grassroots movement that is just as strong, actually stronger, than Obama’s.”

Alexis Zollinger, a sophomore in international studies and French, said initially she was worried about coming to the DNC as a College Republican.

“I was worried that I would be surrounded by a bunch of Democrats that wouldn’t want us to be here and would be rude and angry,” she said. But Zollinger said she finds comfort in “being surrounded by other Republicans who are unified toward a common goal.”

Still, U students encounter some contention as they talk with people about hot political topics.

But Loveless said the U students try hard not to get into arguments.
“We are trying to convert the people on the fence and energize those already on our side,” he said.

U students spent a portion of their Sunday afternoon handing out posters and flyers to people waiting in line to see the world premiere of “Hype: The Obama Effect,” a documentary on Obama. They also talked with the movie patrons and encouraged them to sign up for volunteer work in the coming election.

“Hype” is a film made by Citizens United Productions, which has also produced movies on Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy. It has received attention from various media outlets and its producers define the film as a groundbreaking review of the dark, unknown story of Obama.

Will Holley, marketing director for the film, said the movie is important because it gives the real story behind Obama, instead of the glamour shots given by the media.

“We are doing mainstream media’s job that they haven’t been doing,” he said. “We have got a candidate that has been unexamined. We went back and talked to senators, folks in Chicago to get the full story.”

The film included interviews with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee; political commentator Robert Novak; former secretary of state Ken Blackwell; Illinois state Sen. Steven Rauschenberger and a slew of others. The film covers topics from Obama’s connection to the outspoken Revered Jeremiah Wright of Trinity Church in Chicago, to his stance on the war in Iraq.

Rauschenberger attended the premiere himself. He has been an outspoken critic of Obama since the announcement of his presidential bid. He said the movie presented enough information for the voters to decide for themselves who to vote for.

“I am not going to tell anyone how to vote, but I do think they need to know the truth,” he said. “If you want to elect Obama, elect him with your eyes wide open.”

In the movie, Rauschenberger expressed concerns over Obama’s lack of experience and what he called lack of effort as both an Illinois and U.S. senator.

Holley said U students helped obtain support for the movie and attributed a large crowd at the premiere to their efforts.
“They have been helping us by getting people excited and getting the word out,” he said.

Jon Montgomery, an independent and undecided voter from Colorado, talked with the U students as they stood outside the movie theater.

“I think it is great that they are out here,” he said. “It is good to see diversity and students willing to express their differences. I think that as they talk to people they will certainly make a difference with voters.”

The U students will be volunteering in Denver until Thursday.

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Editor’s Note8212;Jed Layton is reporting from the Democratic National Convention in Denver with a group of students from the Hinckley Institute of Politics and the Cheung Kong School of Journalism at Shantou University in China. Layton will provide coverage for The Daily Utah Chronicle from the campaign trail until the November elections through the program, which is sponsored by the Li Ka Shing Foundation.

Jed Layton

U College Republicans traveled to Denver to show support for the John McCain and voice that not all college students are in support of Barack Obama.