Bush visit draws mixed reactions in Statesboro

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October 30, 2006

In just about a week, Americans will pick a new Congress...and one of the hottest races is right here in our part of Georgia.

Politics brought President Bush to Georgia Southern University today.

He spoke at the Hanner Fieldhouse for about an hour, and, of course, this close to the election, his message was one of getting out to vote and voting Republican.

"Get out to vote and send this man back the United States Congress," Bush said.

That man is Republican congressional candidate Max Burns. He's said to be one of the GOP's best bets for upsetting a Democratic incumbent come November.

"We are eight days away from election and you can bet one thing," Bush said. "We're going to sprint to the finish line."

But while Bush received a warm welcome from the five thousand inside, outside, hundreds of Georgia Southern students protested not just against Bush's leadership, but also university officials allowing this rally on campus.

"They don't allow any other partisan politics on campus, but the GSU Republicans were allowed to host this....and many people don't know they hosted this," said protestor Allison Nunviant.

Inside, the Republican rally continued as Bush briefly touched on topics like illegal immigration and the War on Terror.

"If you want this country to do everything we can to protect you from attacks and lay the foundation for peace, you vote Republican."

Despite protestors and what many are calling a failing administration, most who came today say they stand behind their president.

"I think his message is exactly what he should have said, and I think all the people really like what he said, and I support him one hundred percent," said supporter Mary Cartee.

Governor Sonny Perdue was also there today, as was Augusta Commissioner Joe Bowles.

From here, the president headed to Perry, Georgia to campaign for Republican candidate Jim Marshall.