A town hall event with President Barack Obama set to take place at George Mason University on Thursday is closed to students and the general public, according to an email sent to students by a university administrator.
“CNN is hosting a Town Hall with President Barack Obama on Thursday, Jan. 7, in the Johnson Center. This is an invitation-only event. No tickets are available,” wrote Renell Wynn, vice president of communications and marketing.
University spokesman Michael Sandler told TheBlaze that the town hall on guns is “planned and hosted by CNN” and that the school’s “only role” is to “provide the venue.”
A representative for CNN did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday about the “Guns in America” event.
However, a spokesperson told the Washington Post that “the audience would be evenly divided between organizations that support the Second Amendment including NRA members as well as groups that back gun regulation.”
The NRA said it was invited, but declined because it saw “no reason to participate in a public relations spectacle orchestrated by the White House.”
The “invitation-only” event also struck some students as odd. John Hill, a student who hosts a conservative radio program on campus, told TheBlaze he found it strange.
“The president has been to our school before and they always leave it open to the public and students,” he said. “But those are events where he gets to talk. All of a sudden, he holds an event where the audience gets to talk and now the event is closed to the public and it is invitation only. Doesn’t sound like a town hall to me, sounds like a show.”
Hill added, “Considering President Obama’s electoral success came largely from college students, it’s disappointing the town hall isn’t open and a lot of college students are pissed off about what he’s been up to and want answers to their questions.”
A White House spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment from TheBlaze.
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