Obama admin forces George Mason to close town hall to public
President Barack Obama will join CNN’s Anderson Cooper Thursday at George Mason University for a town hall to discuss Obama’s latest push for more gun control. The event, which will take a discussion-based format, open to questions from the audience, is an invitation-only affair and will be closed to the general public.
“This is an invitation-only event. No tickets are available,” Vice President of Communications and Marketing Renell Wynn wrote in a campus-wide email. “The event is not open to the public.”
"George Mason University’s only role is to provide the venue (via contract) and support based on the details of that contract.”
Michael Sandler, director of strategic communications at George Mason, confirmed with Campus Reform that the university did not have any role in determining who could attend the event.
“This is an invitation-only event and George Mason University’s only role is to provide the venue (via contract) and support based on the details of that contract,” Sandler told Campus Reform.
Some students, however, were hoping to attend the event, according to George Mason’s College Republicans who stated “many have been led to believe it’s open” on their Facebook page. The group is also organizing a protest on campus in response to Obama’s “anti-gun agenda.”
“The purpose of this protest is to support the Second Amendment and oppose President Obama’s anti-gun agenda,” the group wrote in an invitation to the protest. “This will be a peaceful protest to support our Constitutional rights.”
Devon Flynn, chairman of the College Republicans and one of the organizers of the protest, told Campus Reform a town hall should be open to hearing all sides of the issue and not exclude people from attending.
“Obama said this was a town hall to address questions that many Americans want answers to, not just a bunch of gun control advocates agreeing with president Obama. This should be about hearing everyone’s opinion and having to answer tough questions from all sides,” Flynn said.
Flynn also mentioned that Obama called for bipartisan cooperation during his speech on Tuesday but is now closing his doors on many students and citizens who hoped to attend.
“During his speech he talked about bipartisan support, and having everyone come together to fix the problem so why would he hand pick attendees?” Flynn added.
The protest, according to Flynn, was organized after he called his school to request tickets to the event but was turned away.
“When I first heard about the town hall the first thing I thought to do was to call the school to see how to get tickets, but when I called I was told that it is closed to the public and is selected from the White House and CNN,” Flynn stated.
Flynn and the College Republicans will be protesting outside the Johnson Center, where the Town Hall is being held, an hour before the event begins.
“This is to tell President Obama to stop playing partisan politics and to actually work together,” Flynn said in regards to the protest. “He says one thing and does the complete opposite.”
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