Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
John Daley ReportingA planned protest of President Bush's policies will be joined by perhaps the nation's best known anti-war demonstrator. This, as Republican backers of the president plan a rally of their own. Both events are being organized for an August 30 presidential visit.
Today we learned Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier who died in Iraq, will be at a demonstration here at the City and County Building, and there's another event planned for that day at the Capitol, this one backing Bush.
While his approval ratings struggle elsewhere, he's more popular in red-state Utah --at 59%-- approval than virtually any other. That didn't stop 4,000 protesters, including Salt Lake's mayor, from blasting Bush's policies and the Iraq War when the President visited here last August. This time around Republicans don't want a repeat.
James Evans, Chair, Salt Lake Co. Republican Party: "We, being the majority of Utahns, are having a welcome and appreciation rally for the president on August 30th."
Earlier that day, n anti-Bush rally is set to include demonstrator Cindy Sheehan, as well as Salt Lake's mayor.
Rocky Anderson, Mayor of Salt Lake City: "I think he has been an utter disaster and I think there's a huge obligation on the part of anybody who sees these as major problems to stand up. I think it's the most patriotic thing an American can do."
Anderson's move has the American Legion, whose convention the president will speak at, leaving the mayor off a list of distinguished guests.
Greg Rowley, State Adjutant, American Legion Dept. of Utah: "Basically, we didn't want to provide him the stage necessary for that protest."
The dueling events will give the state another very public debate about issues ranging from the deficit, to stem cells, and of course the war.
Rocky Anderson, Salt Lake City Mayor: "This president has been a disaster. He's led us with a lot of lies, whether it was manipulated intelligence, whether it's ineptitude, he has led us into a war."
James Evans, Chair, Salt Lake Co. Republican Party: (Question: Has the war been a disaster?) I would ask that you ask the citizens of Iraq. The fact that they can actually can go out and vote, that they've formed their own government, and the fact that they actually have a functioning democracy, whether or not it's been a disaster."
Another intriguing element of that busy political week, there's a big motivational seminar planned for August 29th at the Delta Center. Possible future presidential candidate and former New York City mayor, Rudolph Giuliani , will be a featured speaker.