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Senior College Democrat appears on Hannity show

Tori Roeck | Monday, September 9, 2013

Senior Adam Newman represented Notre Dame’s College Democrats in a Sept. 6 episode of Fox News host Sean Hannity’s primetime show.

Newman (Editor’s Note: Newman is a Viewpoint columnist.) said the Hannity show assembled a group of seven Republican and seven Democrat college students from schools across the country to discuss current issues.

“Fox flew me out to New York, put me in a hotel in Times Square, had a driver to the hotel, a driver to the airport on the way home,” Newman said. “It was all inclusive, essentially.”

For the debate, the students sat in three rows of chairs while Hannity posed questions about current events and called on certain students to answer. Newman said the students had received a list of 10 potential questions before the show, but they were not reflective of the questions Hannity actually asked.

“Sean did not go by those at all,” he said. “[There was] no talk of foreign policy. It was more debt and deficits. I’d say a lot of the issues were covered, but not in the way they represented it … Them giving me those questions didn’t help at all.”

Newman said he prepared beyond the scope of the questions he received to make sure he was ready for the debate.

“This was an opportunity that many people would kill for, and I wanted to know leading up to it that I had done my best to prepare,” he said. “Even though we’re only talking about a three or four minute segment of me talking … [I did] a lot of fact checking, I watched a lot of his tape. I wrote out talking points for almost every issue, and it was definitely worth it.”

Newman said he caught Hannity, a staunch conservative, off guard a couple times, but his favorite moments were edited out of the show.

“[Hannity] took out parts that didn’t make him look good … It was an opportunity of a lifetime, and I think I did very well,” he said. “However, they did edit me out, and this is going to come across as egotistical, but they did edit me out because I did a very good job.”

In the episode as it aired, Newman spoke about taxes and health care, but in an unaired segment, Newman said Hannity called him a Marxist after he expressed moderate agreement with a quote from Karl Marx.

“He said, ‘You’re a communist, Adam, you’re a communist,'” Newman said. “I said, ‘Sean, I know what you do on this show, you call people names. I’m a moderate Democrat. I am not a Communist.’ At the time I wasn’t that affected by it. I don’t really care what he says. But after talking to my parents about it, it was interesting because I know that being called a Communist has a much different connotation for our parents’ age than for our age.”

Newman said Hannity came off as a “bully” toward the students who appeared on his show.

“These are college students. They’re younger. They’ve never been on TV before, and he went after them,” he said. “He was trying to embarrass them. He was trying to condescend them. He was picking on them, on the weaker ones … This is the Hannity I’m used to. I didn’t expect anything different, but for some people he did come off very rudely.”

Newman said he expected Hannity to be friendlier in the green room before the show, but was surprised at his choice of conversation topic.

“I know who he is on TV, and I would’ve thought that beforehand he would’ve been like, ‘How’s school going? What did you do this summer? What do you have going on this semester?'” he said. “He was right away like, ‘You’re a Democrat from Notre Dame. What’s going on with you, man? I didn’t know there were Democrats at Notre Dame.’ He was really going after me right away.”

Despite Hannity’s argumentative tone, Newman said he is proud of his performance on the show and is grateful for the opportunity to defend his beliefs.

“Thanks to College [Democrats’] leadership for putting me out there. They trust me enough to do this,” he said. “They were very kind and trusting, and I’m so thankful for their faith in me.”

Clips from Newman’s appearance are available on foxnews.com.