ABC producers tested the T-shirt experiment of wearing Kerry shirts to a Bush event, and Bush shirts to a Kerry event. At the Bush events they were either not allowed in or tossed out. The worst treatment received at the Kerry event was folks who danced around them with big signs in order to obstruct the view of the Bush shirts by TV cameras. (emphasis mine)
He said the rally of some 18,000 people was a "private event," and it made no difference that producers Christine Romo and Jessica Wang had tickets and remained silent and respectful.
"But you wore the shirts; you wore the shirts," Borman said. "And honestly, if you would have come without the shirts and sat quietly, you would have had a fun time and enjoyed it, but I mean it's not that kind of event." He then instructed the sheriff's deputies to escort the ABC News team out to the parking lot.
This was hardly the first time those wearing dissenting T-shirts have been forced to leave a Bush campaign event.
Jeff Rank and his wife, Nicole, were arrested July 4 at a Bush rally in Charleston, W.Va., for wearing shirts that read "Love America, Hate Bush" and refusing to relocate to an area for protesters. Earlier this month, at a Bush event in Cedar Point, Ore., Janet Voorhies and two friends were ejected for wearing T-shirts with "Protect Our Civil Liberties" printed on them.
"I think this represents a low point in public discourse in this country, where the mere sign of disagreement is intolerable to candidates," Post said. "That can't be right. That can't be American."
A Kerry staffer at an Oct. 24 Kerry rally in Boca Raton, Fla., told Bush-Cheney T-shirt wearers that the campaign held a permit to rent the site and could remove anyone who made a disturbance.
"We hold the right to remove you, but other than that, enjoy and hopefully at the end of the event you'll want to wear a Kerry T-shirt," he said.