Dozens Protest President Obama’s Iowa City Visit

By Addison Speck, Reporter

Linda Gerdner, of Burlington, Iowa, (far right) stands amongst a crowd of protesters of President Barack Obama, outside Slater Dorm, across from the Field House, in Iowa City, Iowa, on Wednesday, April 25, 2012. (Nikole Hanna/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Aaron Hepker

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Not everyone was rallying with President Obama on Wednesday. Several dozen people stood across the street from the Field House and held signs in opposition to the President and his policies.

University of Iowa College Republicans, Tea Party members and others held signs high. They hoped their message would catch the attention of those passing by. There were many different signs among the group. Some in support of Mitt Romney or Ron Paul, others were sent anti-war messages asking for peace.

Many people KCRG talked to said they agree that education should be more affordable, some even said they agree that interest rates should stay down. “I think there is a lot of bipartisan support to keep low interest rates for any loan,” said Mark Lucas, with Americans for Prosperity. But many said they oppose the way Obama is leading the country, and hope he is a one-term president. “We are just here to protest Obama basically his visit and we have to have change in the economy, and it’s not happening with his administration,” said Kelsey Voehm, Chair of the University of Iowa College Republicans. “A college degree isn’t really worth much if you graduate into an economy where you can’t find a job,” said Lucas.

Some protesters also mentioned disapproval of how the President has handled military spending, the keystone pipeline, and taxes. Many said it was important for them to show there is a solid group of Republicans in the area. “We just want to let people in Iowa City know that there are free market people that believe in less Government, less taxes, and less regulation and that some of us do exist in Iowa City,” said Lucas. Joey Gallagher, with Youth for Ron Paul, was also at the protest to support Paul and speak out against the Obama’s policies. “We really care about civil liberties and this is the most anti-civil liberty president we have had,” said Gallagher.

Many protesters focused their conversation around jobs and the economy. “The president had an opportunity with the Keystone pipeline to bring tens of thousands of high paying jobs to America and he decided to put that on hold. We want to focus on jobs in the economy so students can go work in the economy,” said Lucas. Ed Flaherty, with Veterans for Peace, talked to the protesters crowd Wednesday too. He wanted to express his concerns with how much the United States spends overseas. “We are spending too much money, too much of our natural resources on war,” said Flaherty.

Some also said President Obama should be talking more about the economy, especially since it was the focus of Romney’s speech last night after sweeping the primaries. Overall it was a fairly calm and quiet protest against the President. But many are hoping their message came loud and clear.

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