Notre Dame Invites Presidential Candidates to Campus
Notre Dame is continuing a tradition of inviting presidential candidates to campus, though it comes a few years after another presidential invitation sparked anger among some people.
Notre Dame's president, the Reverend John Jenkins, joined the student body president in inviting both President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney to speak at the university during the fall campaign. The letter to each candidate says the offer also extends to each of their running mates to give the school a "firsthand impression of the contenders and their messages."
Notre Dame first invited presidential candidates to the campus 60 years ago, when both Dwight Eisenhower and his Democratic opponent, Adlai Stevenson, spoke at the university. In more recent years, Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush spoke at the school as did 2000 Democratic running mate Joe Lieberman.
In 2009, some Catholics were upset when Notre Dame invited Obama to speak at it's commencement and awarded him an honorary degree. Hundreds who thought the university rewarded Obama despite his pro-choice views on abortion attended an outdoor Mass and rally held at the same time as the commencement ceremony.