Florida Gator student, Matt Pesek, barred from Michelle Obama event for wearing old McCain shirt
A student was denied entry into a rally featuring First Lady Michelle Obama at the University of Florida on Wednesday because he was wearing a t-shirt supporting Republican John McCain’s 2008 campaign for the White House.
Matt Pesek said he had a ticket for the event but was pulled out of the line by an Obama staffer who said the speech was for Obama supporters only, the Campus Reform website reports.
“I was waiting in line wearing a ‘Gators for McCain’ shirt when a guy comes up to me to just intimidate me,” Pesek told Campus Reform. He said the representative for the Obama campaign then “asks me for my ticket, saying… this is an event with only Obama supporters.”
Pesek said he even turned his shirt inside out and assured the staffer he had no intentions of disturbing the event.
“I just kept explaining that I just want to see Obama,” added Pesek. “[I] said I would even applaud for her.”
At this point, the Dean of Students, Jen Day Shaw, approached Pesek and reportedly told him that the Obama officials “can refuse entry to whomever they want” because it was a “private event.”
A university spokesman appeared to corroborate part of Peskek’s story on Tuesday. He confirmed that the Obama campaign was given complete control of the event and the crowd.
“The event was a ticketed, non-university function run by the Obama campaign,” University spokeswoman Janine Sikes said in a statement to Campus Reform.
An Obama campaign spokesman did not respond to requests for comment, the website reports.