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Incendiary Ann Coulter sets Cal Poly alight with speech

dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Conservative author and commentator Ann Coulter jousted with hecklers, hurled barbs at Democrats and even made fun of the Republican House speaker in a talk Tuesday night at Cal Poly.

The university’s College Republicans hosted Coulter on campus as part of a free public event attended by about 1,000 people — mostly members of the community.

Coulter’s latest of eight books is called “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America.”

The lanky, blonde woman, a syndicated columnist and television and radio personality, came out firing with jabs at President Barack Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the “non-Fox media.”

“Obama is the kind of guy you’d like to have as a next-door neighbor,” Coulter said. “That’s as long as you’re not Chinese because then he’d be borrowing from you all the time.”

In her speech, Coulter blasted the “non-Fox media” for giving attention to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

She said that the Democratic president has been glorified for his role but hasn’t stopped terrorism.

“Killing Osama bin Laden has no more ended terrorism than killing Kenny Rogers would end country music,” Coulter said.

Coulter even went after Republican House Speaker John Boehner, poking fun at his “orange” skin color.

“Obama is not the only one elected for the color of his skin,” Coulter said.

After her speech, Coulter answered about 45 minutes of questions from the audience.

Her responses covered her support of Mitt Romney for president (saying Newt Gingrich would be a “disaster”), her stance on cracking down on illegal immigration and her advocacy for the repeal of Obama’s health care legislation.

But they also included sharp exchanges with audience members on her opposition to gay marriage and comments she’s made in the past that have been called racially insensitive.

“You can be very disrespectful, rude and insensitive about how you refer to Obama and African-Americans,” a young woman from the audience said.

Coulter’s comment on television that “our blacks are better than their blacks” in reference to African-American Republicans being “better” than African-American Democrats drew criticism as well as comedic fodder earlier this year from Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show.”

Coulter shot back by saying that just because she’s willing to criticize Obama doesn’t mean she’s racist.

“I’m not racist because I’m willing to go straight for the jugular when a black happens to be president,” Coulter responded.

Pat Harris, chairwoman of the San Luis Obispo County Democrats, said she intentionally avoided the event, including any idea of protesting, because she doesn’t believe Coulter provides meaningful dialogue to the national political discussion.

“I’m not interested in someone standing up and inciting flames for publicity,” Harris said. “I’d rather stay at home and read a good book — not her book.”

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