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Letter to the editor: Rob Portman ‘a fine choice’ for commencement speaker

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman speaks to students at the US Bank Theater Conference Center at Ohio Union on Sept 1, 2015. Credit: Lantern file photo

To the editor:

Like many of my friends and classmates, I was thrilled when I learned that Sen. Rob Portman would be the keynote speaker at my graduation this December. Understandably, my excitement was not shared by everyone. A recent letter to the editor expressed disappointment that Portman would be giving the commencement address, so I wanted to take the opportunity to share why I believe he is a fine choice for our commencement address.

One of my lasting memories from Ohio State will be my involvement with College Republicans, where I served as the chapter president for more than a year. I had the privilege of meeting Portman on numerous occasions through College Republicans, and even introduced him at an event the College Republicans hosted in 2015. If you ever have the opportunity to talk to him, even for only a few minutes, you will immediately understand that he is a man of great personality and character.

The recent letter to the editor asserted that because he opposes the Affordable Care Act and funding for Planned Parenthood, Portman is an opponent of women’s and minority rights. This simply is not true. Millions of Americans like myself oppose the ACA because it is harmful to small businesses, limits choice in health care and adds to the federal deficit.

I firmly believe that Portman cares deeply about all Ohioans. In fact, two of his most significant pieces of legislation are aimed at helping the most vulnerable members of our community. Last year, former President Barack Obama signed into law Portman’s Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which was aimed at getting help to those afflicted by the opioid crisis. This summer, again with bipartisan support, Portman introduced the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act. It was approved by committee Nov. 8.

For many who will be receiving a diploma this month, the commencement address might be the first time a Republican will be standing in a room in front of them.  I would encourage you to keep an open mind, listen to what he has to say and try to broaden your perspective. After all, isn’t that what this college experience was supposed to be about?

David Stanislav

Former Chairman of Ohio State College Republicans

Fifth-year in chemical engineering



  1. Thank you, David. I will certainly be open-minded about a senator who helped confirm a completely unqualified individual as the Secretary of Education, voted to cut taxes for the rich and increase them for the middle class, wanted to take away access to health care from millions of Americans in the coming years, and will likely support putting even more money in the pockets of the telecom giants to limit access to the greatest information resource the world has ever known. Can’t wait to hear him speak!

  2. If students seriously oppose a senator who is praised for his moderation and for standing for his beliefs in times of political turmoil such as now than I don’t know how we can ever breach the political divide. Portman is a good man who has spoken out against Trumps actions and words. Just because you disagree with him on mainstream issues does not make him evil. Please consider wisely when you choose to use your political capital to remove speakers. If someone like Portman is beyond the realm of acceptability than we are becoming truly intolerant of any form of ideological differences. If you call everyone evil than no one will take you seriously when someone actually is.

  3. When you can no longer write off your student loan interest on your taxes, thank Rob Portman.

    When your future employer will not pay for you to take graduate or extension classes, thank Rob Portman.

    When you can no longer claim the Lifetime Education Credit to pursue a graduate degree, thank Rob Portman.

    When you are prevented from taking advantages of scientific and medical advantages that universities produce, thank Rob Portman, as this bill makes it effectively impossible for research scientists to pursue the life-changing work they currently do. It will gut scientific research in this country and make it impossible for us to compete with other countries.

    When another mass shooting claims the lives of innocent people, thank Rob Portman for his “thoughts and prayers,” as he is deeply indebted to the NRA and is one of ten senators who receives the most money from this organization.

    When you or a family member can no longer receive lifesaving chemotherapy treatment, thank Rob Portman, as the GOP tax bill ends cancer treatment for Medicate patients.

    “Most vulnerable members of our community,” lol.

  4. I wish you stopped moaning and complaining about a great education program this administration has for public schools. You are all intoxicated by the leftist press and democrat representatives that have not done anything but obstruct the Make a Great America agenda and Russia, Russia, Russia. When you graduate and have the possibility to be hired as oppose the past administration policies to take our jobs overseas, you will be able to leave your parents basements and make something for yourselves. Will not need the flakey safe spaces and will become good American citizens who should be proud of your country under one God, one beautiful National anthem, one beautiful American flag and justice for all.

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