Bush, third-party supporters gather outside Gore rally

Emily Brink

While thousands of people supported presidential candidate Al Gore during his rally at Iowa State, opponents of the Democrat also made their voices heard.

Supporters of the Green, Republican and Libertarian parties gathered on corners outside the rally Friday, waving signs, passing out stickers and information and voicing their opposition to Vice President Gore.

“We just want to make sure the nation knows that ISU is not all about Gore,” said Melissa McArthur, freshman in pre-business. She was part of a group of nearly 30 Bush supporters from around Iowa who made the trip to Ames for the rally.

Brian Tucker, member of Students for Nader, said he sees the two mainstream parties as “one merging party.”

“We want people to realize there is another choice besides Gore and Bush,” said Tucker, freshman in art and design.

Libertarian Party members strolled the streets outside the rally to spread their support for Harry Browne, Libertarian candidate from Tennessee.

“I’m here to support Harry Browne and show people there’s another option,” said Michael Mikkelsen, junior in pre-computer science.

Jeremy Varner, president of Students for Nader, said he and other members of the ISU Green Party do not agree that votes for Nader will take away votes from Gore, which would help Bush win the presidency.

Varner, senior in history, said because Gore and Bush share the same stance on many issues, “a vote for Gore is a vote for Bush.”

Protesters of all ages were present. Maggie Walker, 13, of Zearing, came to the rally with her mother to protest Gore’s pro-choice stance on abortion. She said it is important that she was present at the rally so that she could “get more people to vote right, not for Gore.”

Chris Souder, senior in agronomy, said he went to the rally to show his support for Bush.

Souder said he wanted to hear what Gore had to say, but said he was for “Bush all the way.”

Protester Elizabeth Kuennen, Bush supporter from Nevada, said she was disappointed with the lack of media coverage her group received.

“We have only had two media people approach us,” she said. She had hoped the media coverage would help get out the group’s anti-Gore message.

Daily reporters Jocelyn Marcus and Wendy Weiskircher contributed to this story.