College Democrats, College Republicans spar over Herman Cain appearance
Alex Middlewood, president of the Central Michigan University College Democrats, followed up Herman Cain’s appearance Tuesday with a statement blasting the former Republican presidential candidate.
“I think it is disgraceful that the College Republicans would invite a sexual predator onto CMU’s campus,” Middlewood said, referring to the allegations of sexual misconduct that ended Cain’s presidential run.
Megan Gill, chairwoman of the College Republicans, who helped bring Cain to campus, said she strongly disagreed with Middlewood’s statement.
“Obviously, there has been allegations against Cain which prohibited him from continuing his presidential campaign,” said Gill, a Traverse City senior. “But I think Cain brings a valuable perspective as a business man and a presidential candidate. I think we need to bring important politicians and important speakers to campus, so students can observe for themselves and make their own judgements. We shouldn’t let allegations stop students from forming opinions for themselves.”
Gill continued, saying she thought Cain discussed topics — debt, rising student tuition, lowering taxes — that really mattered to students.
“I was impressed by his speech,” Gill said. “He really spoke to us about what mattered to college students, job opportunities and the current economy.”
Gill said she thought that Cain’s experience as a businessman, former CEO of the Godfather’s Pizza chain and executive for Burger King, allowed him to speak with a perspective we don’t usually hear from a politician.
“Cain has had extensive experience working in business,” Gill said. “He knows how to sign the front of the paycheck, as well as the back.”
The mixed reaction to Cain’s speech was not only shared by political student organizations, but also students who attended the event.
Flint freshman Pierce Andersen said Cain wasn’t all that he hoped that he would be.
“He was decent,” Andersen said. “Honestly, I expected a better speech from him. It feels like a lot of what he said was kind of watered down.”
Sarah Zywiczynski, a Dorr Township freshman, shared a perspective similar to Andersen’s, but said she was not as excited as she would of liked following the speech’s conclusion. She, however, found it entertaining.
“It was alright, Cain was interesting,” Zywiczynski said. “I enjoy him, he was a presidential candidate and I feel like that makes him someone worth seeing.”
John Barry, a Wyandotte senior, said he agreed with some of Cain’s views, but disagreed on others.
“I didn’t agree with him at all about green energy,” Barry said in response to Cain’s dismissal of green energy and push for increased coal production in his speech. “Green energy is something that still needs to be explored and researched. It’s still undiscovered.”
Although Barry disagreed with Cain on green energy, he did agree with Cain when it came to his remarks that regulations were strangling businesses.
“I do think we have too many barriers in the way to businesses succeeding,” Barry said. “And I agree with his stances on taxes as well.”
Wayne senior David Kautz said Cain was like any other politician.
“He talked extensively on how the mainstream media is manipulating the truth,” Kautz said. ” But honestly, he was saying the exact same things that you hear on the mainstream news.”
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