College Republican Chairman Dan Moss and College Democrat President Ryan Hutcherson got the opportunity to air their differing views regarding a potential war with Iraq Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Buchanan and Press,” a live political talk show on the cable news channel.
Hutcherson said he approached representatives from CNN’s “Crossfire” about a potential show involving the two organizations, but neither Moss nor Hutcherson had previously contacted MSNBC. Both students said they were excited to have this opportunity.
“I had a finance exam to study for, but I figured national television would be more fun,” said Moss.
The two leaders said they felt the reason they were invited on the show was due to GW’s reputation of being thoroughly engaged in politics.
“Buchanan and Press” co-host Bill Press confirmed this belief.
“George Washington University is one of the most politically active campuses in the entire nation,” Press said.
Moss and Hutcherson were questioned about their reactions to President Bush’s recent rhetoric on Iraq. Co-host Pat Buchanan asked Hutcherson why Democrats in the United States Congress were backing the president on this issue.
Hutcherson initially replied that this was for political reasons, going on to say that “rank and file Democrats don’t agree with this war.”
However, he quickly backed down from this position, asserting repeatedly that a “healthy debate” was necessary.
When given his turn, Moss spoke of his concerns about Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and of his strong support for an attack on the regime.
“The threat is another terrorist attack on the United States,” he said. “If Saddam Hussein gets nuclear weapons, then the United States’ safety and security is at risk.”
As the two debated, a sweaty Hutcherson struggled with more questions from Buchanan about his support for Congressional Democrats with whom he said he disagreed.
When asked for a final comment, Hutcherson paused, and then said, “You caught me.”
Moss, for his part, was questioned primarily by Press. He continued to cite Hussein’s violations of United Nations resolutions as a need for war.
Eventually the segment was cut short for breaking news coverage elsewhere in Washington, and much of the students’ airtime was viewed split screen as the network doubled the show with live coverage of other events.
After the show, Press and Buchanan thanked Moss and Hutcherson for coming and expressed interest in having them return.
Moss said he enjoyed the experience.
“It was fun,” he said. “I want to do it again.”
Though Hutcherson said he enjoyed the experience, he said he was not able to finish his arguments.
“I didn’t get to say what I wanted to say,” he said.