If the students at Benedictine University are a thermometer on how young Illinois voters are warming up to candidates for U.S. Senate, Barack Obama appears to be hotter than his opponent.Fran also gets the answer to the question no one was asking: Who will Jim Ryan be voting for? "I'll vote like a Republican," he said. "I'm a Catholic, and I'm prolife."
This week, the Catholic-affiliated school welcomed two major party U.S. Senate candidates as part of a two-day forum hosted by former Attorney General Jim Ryan, who currently teaches pre-law at Benedictine.The reception of the two ideologically-opposed candidates directly contrasted with what would be expected of a Catholic university's student body.
Confronted by pro-life protestors concerning three votes he cast in the state senate opposing the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, Obama said that the bill was unnecessary in Illinois and was introduced for political reasons.
Obama said there was no documentation that hospitals were actually doing what was alleged in testimony presented before him in committee.
He also told the questioner that the decision concerning a baby should be left to a woman, but that he does not see himself as supportive of abortion.
"No one is pro-abortion and I do not sanction infanticide," Obama said. "We're going to disagree on this difficult moral dilemma, and I respect your opinion, but I don't believe it is appropriate for me to make that decision as a lawmaker for a woman."
The crowd broke into thunderous applause.
When asked why he supported repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, Obama said he thought marriage was for one man and one woman, but that rights should be granted for same sex couples to be allowed civil unions. Obama said he did not believe a constitutional amendment was necessary to protect traditional marriage.Once again, the crowd cheered, and jeered down the questioner when he attempted to follow up his question with another comment.
Yes, even Jim Ryan couldn't bring himself to say the name "Alan Keyes."