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The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

Students represent their candidates

“Following the national Democratic debate in Cleveland on Tuesday night, the University of Akron welcomed a debate of its own. Four students: Mike McGuire, Brian Koss, Allison Rochford and Robert Niery spoke on behalf of their respective candidates Wednesday.”

Following the national Democratic debate in Cleveland on Tuesday night, the University of Akron welcomed a debate of its own. Four students: Mike McGuire, Brian Koss, Allison Rochford and Robert Niery spoke on behalf of their respective candidates Wednesday.

He stands for, she stands for, was the common tone during the debate, held in Zook Hall.

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Funding for education, immigration and border security, the economy and much more was discussed more politely than the national debate. Each candidate’s representative gave an opening statement and was then asked questions by a moderator.

So many students have come in and are not sure who they are voting for, event moderator and political science academic advisor, Anne Hanson said. I thought this would be a great opportunity to hear who their colleagues are supporting for candidacy.

Each student representative answered questions similar to a press liaison filling in for their candidate. At times, they even seemed able to answer questions with more clarity than the candidates did in Tuesday’s debate.

Senator Obama’s plan and Sen. Clinton’s plan are 95 percent identical, Robert Niery, a graduate student in applied politics, said on behalf of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Il).

Health care was a major issue addressed in the debate.

It’s time to realize that jobs don’t need health care, people do, McGuire, an undergraduate political science major said on behalf of Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ak). It’s time to switch to a capitalistic healthcare plan.

According to Brian Koss, representing Sen. John McCain (R-Az), McCain would like to move us away from an employer based health care program. McCain wants to give a tax break in order to aid citizens to purchase health care coverage with more options.

Ultimately, we’re talking about more choices in heath care, rather than a one size fits all universal health care system, Koss said.

Students were also able to give their opinion on campaign strategies, especially negative campaigning against opponents.

I think these sort of attacks are fair game, and I don’t see a problem with it, Koss said. As long as we come together to unite our party in the end for the general election.

However, Democrats think tactics are a little more vicious.

Rochford, representing Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-Ny), said Obama’s mailers sent out in Ohio are old-school tactics, and their messages are proven to be untrue.

However, most agreed that the tension is only felt on the left during this primary season, as McCain has almost won the ticket for the GOP. This has led to few attacks between McCain and Huckabee, especially now that Mitt Romney left the race.

Gov. Huckabee has been the most positive campaigner this whole time, McGuire said. Mike Huckabee and John McCain seem to be in a love affair.

Why a student debate?

All of the students involved in the debate said they took part in order to spread awareness for their candidate.

It was our goal to spread the senator’s message and to get other students to get out and help, Niery said.

Niery is more than a representative of Obama in the debate- he is also the coordinator of the UA student group Students for Barack Obama.

I started working for the senator’s campaign in 2007 when he came to Tri-C, he said. We are working exclusively on campus and our goal is to turn out as many voters on campus.

McGuire said he hoped this debate would help spread conservatism on campus.

I was hoping to change some minds and influence some votes for Huckabee, he said. It seems like a very liberal campus and I’d like to give it a better heads-up that conservatives are out there.

Similarly, Rochford said she thought UA was set in its vote for Obama, and hoped to sway that opinion with her arguments.

It seems this campus is very Barack Obama heavy, and I just wanted to let students know Hillary Clinton has a youth campaign, Rochford said. She is as youth orientated, if not slightly more than, Barack Obama.

She’s been fighting for children her entire life.

However, Koss said he does not feel the Rep. party has much to argue about since McCain almost has the nomination.

The Obama and Clinton people wanted to have a debate, so I was asked to represent McCain, Koss said.

Koss said he is not yet involved with the McCain campaign officially, but is trying to get an internship with it.

Why the candidates are electable

To end the debate, each student rep. was given a chance to explain why their candidate was a good choice to be elected president.

McGuire said the reason to elect Huckabee was simple. According to McGuire, he has worked his hardest to equalize tax rates for everyone, and he will help us in Iraq and with health care.

Koss, however, said McCain was the most experienced and holds firm beliefs about an America worth fighting for. He plans to nominate a strong cabinet in order to fix major problems in the country.

Rochford ended her debate by saying Clinton is the only Dem. candidate whose record really stacks up against McCain. Rochford also said the Bush administration has destroyed our country, and we need a heavy-hitter such as Clinton to get things moving the right way again.

Niery gave the last word for Obama, as well as the debate.

Neiry said he would not tell students why they should vote for his candidate, but how to vote. He said Ohio has early voting this week and everyone who wants to vote early can go up to Grant Street and cast their vote. Niery also said Obama is holding an event to knock on a million doors in the state of Ohio, and students can find more info at his Akron headquarters on Market St.

” #1.1361251:2815416925.jpg:20080228_debate_v2_cb.jpg:Students Mike McGuire, Brian Koss, Allison Rochford and Robert Niery debate for their choice in presidential candidate on Wednesday.:Christopher Bair”

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