A University of Florida student said he was denied entry into a campus rally featuring Michelle Obama because he was wearing a John McCain t-shirt.
Matt Pesek told the website Campus Reform that he had a ticket for the event but was turned away while he was standing in line. An Obama staffer allegedly told the student that he would not be allowed inside because the First Lady’s speech was for “supporters only.”
The revelation surfaced the same day President Obama appeared on CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman and said he represented the entire country.
“If you want to be president, you have to work for everyone,” he told Letterman.
“I was waiting in line wearing a ‘Gators for McCain’ shirt when a guy (representing the Obama campaign) comes up to me to just intimidate me,” he told Campus Reform. “(He then) asks me for my ticket saying…this is an event with only Obama supporters.”
Pesek said he offered to turn his shirt inside but was still denied entry.
A university official told the website that Obama officials could refuse entry to whoever they wanted because it was a private event. But it was being held on a public university campus — paid for by taxpayers.
University of Florida spokesperson Janine Sikes told Fox News that the university had absolutely no control over the event. She said the Obama campaign paid money to rent the facility and could determine who was allowed inside.
But Pesek said the university was very involved in promoting the First Lady’s visit. He said the student body received an email instructing students on where to pick up tickets for the event.
Sikes stressed that “any UF officials attending the event attended on their own time” and denied that university officials or resources had been deployed towards the event.
However, Pesek disagrees. “They [the university] certainly advertised it to students… I didn’t hear about the rally from the Obama campaign. I heard about it from people at the university.”