Under the Dome

January 15, 2014

Obama’s visit brings mixed reviews

The president was met by protests over his economic and health care policies but some students said his message gave them hope.

President Barack Obama’s visit received mixed reviews from those on N.C. State’s campus.

Members of the N.C. State branch of the Young Americans for Liberty protested before the president’s speech, holding signs such as “Commander and Thief” and “Obama Lied, the Economy Died.” Ross Bradley, the club’s president, said the group was protesting Obama’s economic policies, including subsidies and stimulus packages.

“We don’t need outside economic help to get through these times,” Bradley said.

Students, faculty and community members all attended the speech. For many students, Obama’s focus on job creation was a source of hope.

“Being a senior, I definitely like the idea there’s jobs available because I’m going through that now,” said Ayssa Degreenia, an N.C. State student studying agricultural sciences. “I like the idea, I just hope that it works.”

Students weren’t the only ones who left the JW Isenhour Tennis Center, where Obama gave his speech, with a renewed sense of optimism. Wayne Branch, the owner of a printing business in Raleigh, said called Obama’s announcement of an NC State-based Next Generation Power Electronics Institute to develop the next generation of energy-efficient electronic chips and devices a “good move.”

“I think it’s going to be very beneficial to the small business community in North Carolina,” he said. “It’s going to give us opportunities to get back in the game.”

As Obama left the tennis center in his motorcade, some onlookers held up cell phones to take photos; others held up signs such as “Hands Off My Health Care” and “Stop Spending My Kids’ Money.”

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