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BREAKING: Santorum to speak at Hillsdale, other candidates invited

Republican pres­i­dential can­didate Rick Santorum will speak on campus Monday night, Hillsdale College admin­is­trators and rep­re­sen­tatives from his campaign confirmed.
Students have also invited Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney to speak at what could be the college’s first pres­i­dential can­didate sym­posium. At press time, their cam­paigns had not com­mitted to the event.

Santorum said he was looking forward to visiting Hillsdale to par­ticipate in the forum.

“I am excited to share my  vision for a brighter America, and the life expe­riences that have helped shape those  positions,” Santorum said.

The Hillsdale College Con­sti­tution Sym­posium, a coalition of students rep­re­senting campus groups, is spon­soring the event which will take place at the Jesse Phillips Arena on Feb. 20.

College President Larry Arnn said the admin­is­tration approved of students’ plans to bring can­didates onto campus.

“We have agreed that this is a good thing to the extent that it does not disrupt the work of the college,” Arnn wrote in a statement. “Of course the college takes no position on who should be elected president.”

Senior Opinions Editor Elliot Gaiser, president of Students in Free Enterprise and chair of the Con­sti­tution Sym­posium, said he approached Santorum’s campaign over Christmas break to gauge the former Penn­sylvania senator’s interest in coming to campus before the Michigan pres­i­dential primary on Feb. 28.

“Forums such as this are a great way for voters to learn where the can­didates stand,” Santorum said.

Students from the Hillsdale College Repub­licans, the Classical Liberal Orga­ni­zation, and SIFE are col­lab­o­rating to put on the event, Gaiser said.

“My hope is this will shine a bright light on what can­didates believe about the Con­sti­tution, and influence the pres­i­dential race to focus on the document we expect our next president to protect and defend,” Gaiser said.

Before last semester’s Herman Cain event, Hillsdale had never hosted a pres­i­dential can­didate, College His­torian Arlan Gilbert said.

Although both Ronald Reagan and Theodore Roo­sevelt visited Hillsdale, neither of them was a can­didate for the White House at the time, Gilbert said.

Sources close to can­didate Ron Paul’s campaign indicated that the Texas con­gressman is not likely to attend Monday’s event, due to scheduling logistics. Almost 200 students and alumni have signed an on-line petition asking him to come to Hillsdale.

The cam­paigns of Gingrich and Romney would not comment on their plans.

Gaiser said the event will play an important role in the Michigan primary, which in turn could sig­nif­i­cantly affect the pres­i­dential race.

“The Michigan primary is like the Get­tysburg of the campaign,” Gaiser said. “A victory here could be decisive for Super Tuesday just seven days later. Addi­tionally, Michigan could be in play for the GOP this election cycle, so the strength of a candidate’s victory matters.”

 

UPDATE: Event orga­nizers said the event will take place at 8 p.m. and is open to Hillsdale students, faculty, and the public by invi­tation only. To request invi­tations, please e-mail  PresCandidateSymposium@Hillsdale.edu.


  • Brad Hubert

    Dr. Gilbert may have for­gotten that Ron Paul spoke at the college in 1988 when he was the pres­i­dential nominee of the Lib­er­tarian Party. Addi­tionally, Mitt Romney spoke at Hillsdale in 2007 during the run-up to his 2008 campaign.

  • Dean

    O good, maybe someone can give him a copy of the Con­sti­tution and the dec­la­ration of inde­pendence, because he has clearly read neither…

    • David

      ^ Fan­tastic comment, Dean! Santorum is not a con­ser­vative, not does he plan to uphold the Con­sti­tution. Why he was asked to speak at Hillsdale College on this day (or at all!) is beyond my com­pre­hension. I only wish I could attend. However, I trust there will be a good rep­re­sen­tation of true Con­ser­v­atives and Con­sti­tu­tion­alists in attendance to question Mr. Santorum’s ideas and beliefs.

  • Ross

    Mitt Romney formally announced his can­didacy a few months before he gave his campaign spiel at the 2007 commencement.

    • Mike

      I agree with you Ross. I was very dis­ap­pointed the Governor could not dis­t­ingquish between a campaign stop and and con­ser­vative college com­mencement. Hans Zeiger, however, did not disappoint!

  • Kyle Forti

    The petition to get Dr. Paul to come speak at Hillsdale was more like 600, not 200.

  • Cassie

    What time?!

  • http://jbg4.com James Galloway

    The article fails to mention what time the event will be on Monday night and whether or not it is open to the public. I’m guessing 7:00 p.m. and yes. Any clues?

    • Mary Coran

      The Hillsdale Collegian’s Facebook page included the fol­lowing update:

      “Event orga­nizers said the event will take place at 8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 20, and is open to Hillsdale students, faculty, and the public by invi­tation only. We’ll keep you posted as we find out more.”

  • GOP Hicks

    What time is this event and are there tickets available?

  • Jeff King

    Regarding the Ron Paul visit.

    From what I col­lected on the student Ron Paul facebook site was the following:

    1. The Admin­is­tration set down a specific date and format for Dr. Paul’s visit, before even knowing Dr. Paul’s schedule. It was to be a multi-candidate event. Dr. Paul wasn’t even in the state then.

    2. The lead­ership of the local college Ron Paul group just went along with this without question and ignored the mandate set down in the petition, which only called for getting Ron Paul on campus, not all 4 candidates.

    3. Dr. Paul was willing to visit the campus, but only when he was in Michigan.

    4. The lead­ership of the local Ron Paul college group kept the local com­munity Ron Paul group in the dark, who I might add got the highest vote per­centage for Ron Paul in the state in 2008 and consist of many alumni. They also were able to work around similar admin­is­tration unrea­sonable demands, in booking the Dow Center in 2008 for a Ron Paul rally.

    5. If you question any of this, or suggest workarounds to get Dr. Paul on campus still, you are banned from college Ron Paul group. It was getting ugly there. They closed mem­bership to the group this morning as well.

  • Kevin Hannity

    The fact that Dr. Paul is not able to visit is neither on behalf of the students or the local com­munity group, the college set up the date. Dr. Paul is speaking in South Dakota on the 20th and apparently he doesn’t have much con­fidence on winning MI. You’re speaking as if the student Ron Paul facebook group is some powerful political orga­ni­zation that can control the schedules of both RP & the college, yet its a group of less than 200 Hillsdale students. BTW the facebook group was not getting ugly, but you cer­tainly enjoyed attacking students and placing the blame on them, when in reality the students are the only reason a can­didate would ever visit south-central MI.

  • It’s me!

    In ref­erence to the Update: Does that mean they’ll be checking ID’s?

  • Jeff King

    Kevin, if the local orga­ni­zation hadn’t been shut out of the process, the same local orga­ni­zation that gave Dr. Paul the largest vote per­centage in the state in 2008, and suc­cessfully got a Ron Paul rally on campus in 2008, I wouldn’t have com­plained. Even the paper in an earlier story said the two groups were working together.

    Students are at a distinct dis­ad­vantage at times working with the admin­is­tration, and having co-sponsors outside the college can be key in prying doors a little more open. The date was set before the can­didate even agreed to come.

    That said, after I posted the above, one of the students con­tacted me and dis­closed a key fact to me, that the college group was instructed to keep the local group out of the loop. As such, it was outside their control, and in talking to another one, I could tell they were not pleased with the request.

    Obviously, I hadn’t con­sidered something as absurd as that, although I fully believe the student. So, both to you, this list as well as the student orga­ni­zation, I offer my full and complete apology for any indig­nation I may have dis­played while at the same time standing behind the facts I earlier posted.

  • Cary M. Champion ’89

    Rick Santorum claims himself an American Excep­tionalist. One of those excep­tional prin­ciples is fed­eralism, suc­cinctly expressed by the 10th Amendment. Based on debates I’ve seen he has little faith in this concept. He wants to amend the con­sti­tution and cen­tralize authority over morality. More evidence he’s big government.

    While I basically agree that abortion is immoral, I support Ron Paul’s idea of removing the matter from federal courts and returning deter­mi­nation to the state level.

  • I Was Tricked

    Wait, the Classical Liberals group is involved in this?
    Ugh. They used to be cool.

  • dusty tim­berman

    I would love to see Rick Santorum at the college and wanted to know if there will be seats or areas open or places for purchase or anything??? please contact me as soon as possible. Thanks

  • Cary M. Champion ’89

    Sounds like an excellent oppor­tunity for Ron Paul sign waving near the college field house.

  • Elyssa

    No one has answered my email about getting seats. Is there a number I need to call or…?

  • joe

    Too bad folks. He can­celled. Rick will be in Grand Rapids MI instead of at your event.

  • Jeff King

    So now maybe the guy that keeps his word and offered to visit the college can be worked with in the scope of his schedule? Paul will be in Michigan 25th, 26th and 27th and only a few events have been announced so far.

  • Natalie Scarlett