Delivering the final commencement address of his tenure, President Bush told supporters and protesters at Furman University here Saturday that he was far from "a model citizen" when he left college but that "it is never too late to recover and get back on track."
Although he received a warm welcome, Bush's visit was preceded by controversy as more than 200 faculty and students signed a letter objecting to his policies on the Iraq war, detentions and other issues. A conservative group responded with its own, larger list of signatories, and said the protesters were being disrespectful of the presidency and of graduating seniors.
Several dozen protesters greeted Bush's arrival outside the stadium Saturday, and a group of 14 faculty members stood during Bush's speech while wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase "WE OBJECT."
Bush made a joking reference to the protests, telling the audience: "I, too, am a strong believer in free speech. And to prove it, I'm about to give you one."...read on