On Tuesday, October 9, the student organization Turning Point UGA, an affiliate of Turning Point USA, hosted a “Campus Clash” event at the Classic Center in Athens. The event featured Turning Point USA’s founder Charlie Kirk, Director of Communications Candace Owens, former Fox News anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Donald Trump, Jr.
Turning Point USA is a national organization whose mission is to train and educate students on the “principles of freedom, free market, and limited government.”
The event kicked off with a brief word from Brian Kemp, Georgia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate, in which he took time to briefly criticize his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, and to encourage those already seated to vote for him on November 6.
“Thanks for showing up, thanks for fighting the good fight. God bless you, and keep chopping out there,” Kemp said to a mixture of cheers and boos from the nearly at-capacity auditorium.
The booing came from a group of student protesters seated near the back of the auditorium. Nearly all of them were wearing black, and they spoke out against the panelists multiple times throughout the evening.
Owens addressed them almost immediately, calling them “petulant children” and stating that the protestors did not want to see a black person who supported Republican ideology.
Topics covered throughout the night included hot-button issues such as feminism, climate change, sexual assault, Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation, and Kanye West.
At many times throughout the evening, panelists spoke in support of President Donald Trump. His son, Trump Jr., stated that Democrats seem to dislike anything his father has a hand in.
“If Donald Trump tomorrow came out in support of oxygen,” Trump Jr. stated, “the left would be against it.”
The panel also stated that President Trump has improved many aspects of American life. When stating the “lows” of his presidency, Kirk said, “Yeah, lowest ever women unemployment, lowest ever black unemployment, lowest ever Hispanic unemployment…” among other things that were drowned out by the crowd’s cheers.
During the Q&A portion of the evening, the protestors raised their fists and left the auditorium. Many of them gathered at the Arch for several minutes while a few others stayed behind to continue to protest the panel.
The event was supposed to end at 8 p.m., but the panel continued to answer questions for an additional half hour. Questions ranged from the U.S. government’s involvement in Yemen to whether or not Trump Jr. will accept Stormy Daniel’s lawyer’s challenge to a mixed martial arts fight.
The evening ended on a high note for Turning Point, in spite of the tension throughout the evening. The last question came from a woman who asked Trump Jr. if she could record him sending a message to her brother, who is deployed overseas in the military. The room erupted in applause as he gave his well wishes.
Ultimately, Trump Jr. summed up the organization’s primary goal in his final statement to the audience: “We can keep this country going on the right track, and we can make America great again.”