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GOP candidate shared views with students

Photo: Kristen Smith

Presidential candidate Thad McCotter came to Drake University on Aug. 24 to talk to students about the upcoming election. He has faith that he will be elected into office in 2012 and it showed through his speech.

“The only thing that is too big to fail is you, the American people,” McCotter said.

Drew Kaufman, a sophomore politics major, isn’t so convinced.

“I disagreed on a number of issues, global warming being a big one,” Kaufman said.

McCotter took a different approach than most with his speech. He chose to start the event with a question and answer session instead of speaking. Students asked questions about social issues, such as gay marriage and embryonic research, as well as larger political and economic issues.

“The left is not progressive as it is regressive,” McCotter said at the end of his speech. “We need to take care of those who cannot help themselves, take care of our own lives.”

McCotter also said he believes the future of America rests on a self-government formed on reliance and dignity.

Although Kaufman didn’t agree with McCotter, he did feel it was a good experience overall.

“As a politics major, it’s a good experience and seemed like a good opportunity,” Kaufman said. “It’s helpful to get a perspective that’s not always gotten in the classroom.”

Rachel Caufield, associate professor of politics and international relations, is in charge of making sure students get the chance to see the presidential candidates. Even though some students didn’t agree with McCotter on the issues, Caufield felt that those who attended were respectful and attentive.

“I was very impressed at the questions the students asked him as well as the level of attendance at the event,” Caufield said.

Caufield had to put the event together in less than a day.

“(McCotter’s) campaign called the (Drake) College Republicans on Monday evening, but they didn’t call me until Tuesday morning and they asked to do the event Wednesday,” Caufield said.

Luckily, Caufield has plenty of experience in putting together these types of events. There are also policies in place that allow her to send out campus-wide emails to students and staff. The size of the event also played a role in it coming together so quickly.

“Smaller events like this can be nimble while the larger ones are harder to deal with,” Caufield said. “(McCotter’s) staffers were easy to work with and it just came together.”


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