May 13th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 05/13/09

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Tonight, we'll take you live to Arizona State University where President Obama will address the graduating class. His visit drawing controversy when the school refused to grant him an honorary degree, saying he basically hadn't accomplished enough. We'll also look at Pres. Obama's controversial speech at Notre Dame this weekend. Some believe a Catholic university should not honor a president whose views on abortion and stem cell research run counter to church. Text us your questions on this topic. Just put the initals A-C, your name, location and question in the text and send it to 94553.

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Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (496 Responses)
  1. Miss J

    Summary of Palin’s new book in 5 words…How I helped Obama win—Thank you Palin!


    May 13, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  2. Stephanie Andrews, NC

    Jennifer, it is a FREE country, he go where he's invited. He's the President of the UNITED STATES!

    May 13, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  3. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Looking forward to Gary’s piece. Really interesting story. Do you think this kid deserved a second chance?

    Kay Jones,
    Yes, Kid can have second chance right now...... I am sorry for him get shot his leg. Thanks Gary Tuchman.

    @ Gail.
    You're right! You have good point there!

    May 13, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  4. Margaret in OH

    Ugh- It is ridiculous because as Laura pointed out- the church is against premarital sex, and birth control- but obviously there are some at ND who engage in these activities- I feel like the Catholic Church actually would benefit from hearing other viewpoints ( I am Catholic myself so feel I can be a bit critical), It is run by a bunch of older white men for the most part and that truly is part of the problem.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  5. Heather - Spokane, WA

    Continue going to school and not get in trouble for shooting someone?! What is wrong with that picture?

    May 13, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  6. Tom

    @Kelly, good point and you didn't even stratch the surface. How many priests have been found guilty of {you know what} and lost millions of dollars of Catholic property due to civil trials guilty verdicts for those disgusting crimes! So I guess sin and throwing stones has been stricken from biblical teachings, huh?

    May 13, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  7. christine edwards


    Hey thanks, I was worried that I had gone too far... Everyone has awesome points of view that open up other related points, especially the potential political/media stunt behind all of this. I also agree with those pointing out the hypocritical stance taken by standing firm on the abortion issue, then utilizing birth control or having premarital sex. We are all hypocritical at times but when one points out others flaws, all they do is leave themselves open for outside criticism.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  8. celinda

    the catholic church is being hypocritical re the views of president obama on birth control. they are making more stink about some one who says a person has a right to choose than they are abou the young boys who had no rights, choice or protection under the leadership of the thousands of priest over the years who were abusing these children.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  9. Ashburn, VA

    I am a practicing catholic and am pro-life, but I have no problems with President Obama speaking at Notre Dame, nor with receiving the honorary degree. As your guest stated earlier, universities are a forum for great debate. The word University comes from the latin meaning 'universal', 'the whole', so why are we trying to exclude people with don't believe what we do from speaking at the university?

    May 13, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  10. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    I am also convinced that President Obams wil do any thing to shut down the pro-life movement ,and make it a law .The culture of death it's hovering lkie a dark cloud .When wil some one care about the dignity of human life again?

    May 13, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  11. Maureen T, Canada

    Great reporting Gary Tuchman!

    May 13, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  12. Joanna

    My husband and I are both ND grads and fully support the University's decision to ask Pres. Obama to speak and to give him an honorary degree. Where were all of these protesters when President Bush and Condoleeza Rice (both pro-death penalty and pro-torture) when they spoke at commencements? I am so tired of hearing about of all of outsiders of the University having these tireless opinions about who speaks at my alma mater. Further, as a practicing Catholic, I am shocked at how so many other supposed Catholics protesting the President seem to forget that Obama promotes other Catholic social teachings such as immigration reform, healthcare and diplomacy.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  13. starr formerly known as vincent

    This school story is crazy!!!

    The shooter got a "plea deal"???

    I feel very badly for Mr. Johnson...this story is an outrage!!

    Trust our Gary Tuchman to get the story. Really glad that you brought this story to light. Maybe Mr. Johnson will see some justice after this story tonight.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  14. Michelle in L.A

    I'd buy a book by Tina Fey, NO WAY would I buy a book by "she who must not be named" I find her ignorant, divisive, and a low life with racist tendencies.

    I am shocked there are that many people that like her enough to buy a book she writes.

    The world is a shocking place. All logic out the window.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  15. James in TN

    @Adriana probably more than we need to know.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  16. Joyce

    Sorry, I don't think abortion is a political or religious issue. The woman carries the child; the woman should decide. Obviously, I don't agree with women just doing it because they made a mistake; but it's not my place to judge them. Nor is it the role of the Catholic church (although, they think it is) to decide for women. My bf is staunch Catholic and just wrote our senator about his views on some abortion matter. I disagree with him. I don't think it's right - When was it ok for a bunch of men to decide what women should or could do? It's a stupid issue really, but people like to make it out to be something huge. Their views have been clouded.

    In my life, religion matters,but humanity is first. I am not fanatical about anything, except maybe shoes:)

    If they can say it's not okay to have abortions...

    Maybe I'll tell the Australian priest it's ok to get it on in Mexico or Maybe they should let women be priests ...

    May 13, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  17. krowt

    Summary of Palin's new book in 5 words...How I helped Obama win-Thank you Palin!

    May 13, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  18. Bridget, TX

    Sharon, I doubt PO is interested in the honorary degree, he probably accepted the invite never imagining the trashing and protesting he'd receive for doing what others have done.

    I don't know why he didn't cancel his acceptance and chose a university who would have loved to have him speak at their commencement. I hope Secret Service increase the protection during his time at ND.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  19. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    This is a heart breaking story...the assaulter gets to graduate and actually has to graduate as part of his plea deal...but the victim doesn't get his degree? Johnson deserves an honorary degree! Hopefully this report will spark some outrage about this story too!

    May 13, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  20. Esma

    Don't get me started on the horrid deals lawyers strike...this is disgusting. My heart goes out to Rashad Johnson and his family for all of this "justice" they've had to put up with.
    Terrific story, Gary!

    May 13, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  21. benz

    I am a catholic and to those that will bycott the ceremony i say its there lost.
    Racists should not use religion as an excuse. You voted for Bush, look where it got us. People are still committing suicide due to what bad economy did to their iives.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  22. Adriana RM Marietta,Ga

    Why didn't he go back to Moorehouse? After recovering, I would sued the school to pay for damages and my tutition.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  23. will ventura

    By protesting president Obama's receiving the honorary degree because of his beliefs regarding abortion, the catholic church is disregarding everything else that he stands for. Sudenly, all of the outstanding qualities that make president Obama the great person he is becomes irrelevant.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  24. Krasi, Houston, TX

    David, I understand and agree with your point. However, I have lived in a place where war violence was present in people's everyday lives, including children, and the impact on those I'm afraid was not pleasant.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  25. Christine

    I am a contradiction in terms. A pro-choice Catholic. The only thing I do not agree with is partial birth abortion, except in the matter of life or death of the mother. Before anyone takes a side on this you should research what "partial birth abortion" really is. In most cases the baby (because that is what it is) is not yet dead when they start to pull it out of the mother, by anything they can grab.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  26. David, Indiana

    I respect the pro life view, but I agree with Father Reese, universities are a place where people debate ideas, principles, concepts. That's the heart of what a college or university is. Achmadinjad spoke at NYU.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  27. Elena

    I am Catholic, I believe abortion is a SIN, but that has nothing to do with Obama. God gave us the free will to choose between right and wrong. Nobody but God tells me what to do. Obama can say or believe anything he wants about abortion, that doesn’t mean I’m going to do it. We can’t see life as black or white, everything has shades of gray. He should speak and be honored. There are many other things that Catholics believe, that he believes.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  28. kathleen kiley

    I was a bit dismayed at the league president calling president obama - this man here, not unlike senator mccain's patronizing remarks about "this one"

    i am a catholic and a believer in free speech, debate and the seperation of church and state. I also believe in a woman's right to choose. i find it unbelievable that men - let alone priests - are making these decisions for women.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  29. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Cafteria cahtolics who picjk and choose thier own truth according to them is hypocrtical of them .They supported the war and birth control .
    We must pray for thier conversion back to the faith .

    May 13, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  30. Briana

    As a student I do not understand why students are not allowed to see the numerous opinions and ideas in the world. This speaks of how the university's integrity and educational values. Is it Notre Dame embarrassed?

    May 13, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  31. Cervantes, Imperial Beach CA

    Good for women, Palin with a book deal "Maverick Tomb Raider"(sugestion)

    May 13, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  32. Jennifer

    I think it is a disgrace to have Obama speaking at ND. I don't care if previous presidents have been invited. He is the most pro-abortion president we've had and that is completely contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. To have him speak and then honor him with a degree is wrong. ND needs to follow what it claims to be.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  33. Joe from LA

    Please leave religion separate from politics!!! Its never is good for anybody!! History shows us..

    May 13, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  34. Caroline, Los Angeles

    "Do we really need a book to know more about Gov Palin. Don’t we know enough about her already?"

    I agree. Yawn.....

    May 13, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  35. Jonathan Wilson

    Well at least at Arizona they won't have to cover up any religious rightings as they have done at other places he has spoken.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  36. Gilby-HI

    Gov. Palin is not going away and will be in political office for years to come. She had a anchor (clanker) around her heck, with some real issues that turned a lot of Republicans and Independents off. I love Sen. McCane but he had a bad case of the Spectors and needed a Liberalectimy.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  37. Patti

    One would have to wonder what kind of person is actually going to buy the book Sarah Palin is going to write. Do we really need another book by a wannabe on the market. What could she actually have to say that the "average joe" really cares about? As a woman she does not appeal to me as a candidate for anything.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  38. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    @Michelle, "MY Life, MY Choice, MY Business. Are they as P.O at men that do not financially support their children?"

    If it's your body and your choice why SHOULD anyone else support the child?

    May 13, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  39. Roger Miller

    I guess the Catholics at Notre Dame left the verse, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and Do not judge unless ye be judged out of their Bibles.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  40. Lynn

    I am sure that a man who has a Harvard Law Degree is not concerned about getting an honorary degree which is rather a silly award. Having scholarships named after a man who has achieved so much scholastically and which will be given for decades to come is a much better degree.

    If I was Pres. Obama I would tell the university to get somebody else and spend a beautiful Sunday with his two darling daughters and Bo.
    I find it ironic that men who have never had sex, never were fathers have so much to tell everyone else what they should do.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  41. sarah

    William Donohue needs to rethink his stance on President Obama speaking this weekend at Notre Dame. I find it incredibly ironic that this man and many other "good Catholics" are behaving so badly over Presdient Obama's stance on abortion. We never saw this degree of craziness over all of the priests who have sexually abused many, many helpless, innocent children. The old saying, hypocracy knows no bounds truly applies to this situation – it's disgusting!

    May 13, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  42. Martina Ilstad

    So Anderson
    I am really tired,i try to sleep again,its midnight here in Germany,and it will be a hard day tomorrow(innow few few hours for me)
    So good night,enjoy your verry interristing show.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  43. Arun

    I am a republican and do not believe in abortion. While I dont agree with a lot of the presidents policy, I do think that the president should be allowed in speak at Notre Dame.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  44. linda

    I wish the Catholic Church would stop trying to make the United States of America.....into an only Catholic country. The Catholic Church is ignoring the "patch work quilt" of America's diversity.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  45. Katie

    I'm not sure I understand why Obama would really want to speak at Notre Dame in the first place, given his views on abortion. Shouldn't he be seeking venues that are more consistent with his viewpoints in order to be well recieved? Who organized this?

    May 13, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  46. Miss J

    Those were nice points, Gail!

    May 13, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  47. Kelly - Harrisburg, PA

    I'm not sure a Catholic university deserves to have President Obama speak. There were some priests last fall who actually said in their sermons that if people voted for Obama they would go to hell.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  48. Cathryn

    my sentiments were exactly expressed by the last blog that said to the effect do they give ANY degrees to anyone who disagrees with them? are they sure they are not discriminating against the President of the United States for "some other" reason???

    May 13, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  49. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Thank you Presdient Obama for not showing the torture pictures that would have been more pain and suffering caused by thyis war .

    May 13, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  50. andersoncnn

    Gail.. thanks for your thought

    May 13, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
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