Campaigns begin campus push
By Rachel Aragon And Daniel Bornstein, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Republican and Democratic representatives will be on campus hosting a number of events relating to Tuesday’s presidential primary debate. Campaign managers and party leaders alike will increase their College visibility in attempt to garner support for their respective candidates prior to the 8 p.m. debate, which will be hosted in Spaulding Auditorium and focus on economic issues.
The Rockefeller Center will host “Meet the Campaigns,” an event open only to Dartmouth students, on Tuesday from 4 to 5 p.m., according to Sadhana Hall, deputy director of the Rockefeller Center. Representatives from the campaigns of the eight candidates attending have been invited to answer student questions about the campaigns and the candidates’ policy stances, Hall said.
Members of the campaigns have not yet confirmed they will attend the event, but each campaign will likely be represented, Hall said.
Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, will seek to interact with Dartmouth students and community members while in Hanover for the debate, Perry’s spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier, said in an interview with The Dartmouth.
Following the debate, Perry will visit Beta Alpha Omega fraternity to speak with students about his goals as a candidate and his plans to “get the U.S. working again,” Frazier said.
Former Gov. John Huntsman, R-Utah, will host a town hall meeting at the retirement community, Kendal at Hanover, on Tuesday at 1 p.m. Students are encouraged to attend the event before the presidential primary debate, Michael Levoff, Huntsman’s campaign spokesman, said in an email to The Dartmouth.
Huntsman’s campaign will also host an open debate watch party at Everything But Anchovies, Levoff said. The College Republicans worked with the Rockefeller Center, College Democrats and College Libertarians to plan the campus-wide watch party in Leede Arena during the debate, with many of the eight debating candidates expected to make a post-debate appearance.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who also serves as the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, will speak briefly at the Hanover Inn at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, according to acting College Democrats President Chelsea Stewart ’12. Students will have the opportunity to ask Wasserman Schultz questions following her talk, Stewart said.
While College Republican members will promote different candidates by distributing stickers outside the Leede Arena watch party, the group does not have any other activities planned, according to College Republicans President Parker Hinman ’13.
Although the official debate does not begin until Tuesday evening, candidates’ activities in Hanover have already gained much attention.
The campaign bus of Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., drove through campus on Monday afternoon, parking for an extended period of time in front of the Hopkins Center.
Two women shouted in protest from the sidewalk, where a small crowd of onlookers had also gathered to greet the candidate. The two women said they were aware that Bachmann was not in the bus, but continued to shout, condemning Bachmann’s stance on abortion in particular.
Although protesters are expected on campus throughout the day, Perry’s campaign does not believe they will pose any problems, according to Frazier.
“[Protesters are] not a concern of ours,” Frazier said. “Our job is focused on the debate and how to get America working again. We do not see protesters as a threat.”
Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger, the first openly gay contender from a major political party, said he will come to Dartmouth on Tuesday to protest his exclusion from the debate. Karger said the debate’s organizers — the College, The Washington Post, Bloomberg News and WBIN — denied a spot to him, former Gov. Buddy Roemer, R-La., and former Gov. Gary Johnson, R-N.M., despite making an exception in their requirements to allow Perry in the debate.
Perry’s Federal Election Commission campaign finance reports do not meet the debate’s criteria, according to Karger.
“As long as they’ve made an exception with Perry, they should let the three of us in,” Karger said in an interview with The Dartmouth.
Local politicians are also traveling to Hanover to involve themselves in the political process.
State Sen. Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, majority leader of the New Hampshire senate, said he will attend the debate to show his support for former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass.
Campaign representatives for Bachmann, Romney, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, could not be reached for comment by press time.
Representatives from the New Hampshire Republican Party and the New Hampshire Democratic Party could not be reached for comment by press time.