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Crowd at rally welcomed President Bush
Bush fans 3 col BW
A capacity crowd filled Hanner Fieldhouse Monday morning for a campaign rally for Republican Max Burns that featured President George W. Bush.
    The enthusiastic crowd waved flags and held signs in support of Burns while several Republican leaders, including Congressmen Jack Kingston and Charlie Norwood and Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue stressed the importance of electing Burns and keeping the House of Representatives in Republican control.
    But when the lights went down and Bush came on stage, the crowd erupted in applause, with some in attendance saying it didn't feel like a political rally.
    "It was like I was at a Chicago Bulls game and Michael Jordan just came out," said Shawn Wiley, a graduate student at Georgia Southern.
    Trevor Passavanti likened the scene to that of a rock concert.
    "It was unbelievable. I'm at a loss for words right now, to be honest," he said.
    Jennifer Salerno held a Burns for Congress sign during the rally and afterward said she was excited to be there.
    "It's unreal to see the man that runs our country in the same few thousand square feet that I'm in," Salerno said.
    Edwin Brantley said it was a "great opportunity" to have the President of the United States in this part of the country, especially considering no sitting president had ever visited Statesboro prior to Monday.
    Brantley said he supports Bush's policies, especially when it comes to the war in Iraq, and was "very impressed" with the entire rally.
    Tim Freeman said he thought the rally was "real positive and exciting" and was equally thrilled to have Bush in the area.
    "For Statesboro and Georgia Southern, it's great to have him here," Freeman said.
    He was also impressed with the enthusiasm of the crowd on hand.
    "It was pretty obvious by the number of people who showed up to support him and what he stands for," Freeman said. "He had a lot of support."
    Wiley, a self-described Republican said he was happy he got to see Bush in Statesboro.
    "There's no way I would have missed this," Wiley said. "It doesn't matter who the President is, I want to see him and hear what he has to say."
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