Students watch Republican debate at bar downtown

Jenna Staul

A handful of students perched atop bar stools and lounged in booths in Professor’s Pub last night to witness Ronald Reagan’s famous words, “Don’t speak ill of another Republican,” be put to test by the four candidates vying for the White House in 2008.

Black Squirrel Politics, a student produced political blog, aimed to make the Republican presidential debate into a spectator sport by sponsoring a debate watching party for political junkies and bar-goers alike.

“We want to get college students talking about politics,” said Erik Urycki, a senior public relations major taking the political journalism class that produces the Black Squirrel Politics blog. “We’re going to be the decision makers soon.”

Marcus Fakler, freshman exploratory major

“I’m probably going to vote for Obama. But out of the Republicans, I think McCain will win. He’s being endorsed by all the right people. I don’t know if everyone agrees with him, but in America the popularity thing is big.”

Stephen Ontko, president of the College Republicans

“I came because I wanted to see what direction the Republican party is leaning towards. I don’t have a candidate yet. For me, it’s really complicated. It’s a credibility thing. They are all saying the right things, but are they going to actually do them?”

Dan Levan, senior general studies and physics major

“I’m deciding between McCain and Huckabee. I see McCain as the biggest realist, and that’s definitely one of Reagan’s qualities. I’d like to see them talk about what they’re going to do at home, because we aren’t going to pull out troops anyway, no matter where you stand.”

Michelle Bender, senior public relations major

“I’d like to see whoever is elected president to finish the war. We started this mess, so we should finish it. I’d like to vote for Huckabee. He seems like an honest, genuine person. He’d be good for America.”

Hayley Bennett, senior jewelry making major

“I don’t feel educated enough yet to pick a candidate. I pay attention, but I don’t think about this on a daily basis. But I think it’s so unfortunate that Huckabee is so charming, because he’s crazy.”

Contact student politics reporter Jenna Staul at [email protected].