Actress Olivia Munn is best known recently for her portrayal of awkward financial reporter Sloan Sabbith on HBO’s “The Newsroom,” but she took on another role Saturday as a speaker for the Obama campaign. Munn spoke to Marquette students about women’s issues in the election and why she thought President Obama should be reelected.
The event, part of the Obama campaign’s “Young Americans for Obama” movement, drew roughly 15 supporters to the Alumni Memorial Union. Actress Ashley Judd was scheduled to speak alongside Munn, but a flight delay prevented her from joining the former “Attack of the Show” co-host. Despite the setback and the small amount of time given to prepare, Margaret Grace, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences and a deputy team leader for Marquette’s Students for Barack Obama, was pleased with the event.
“Olivia was a very fun speaker,” Grace said. “She had a lot of important stuff to say, but it was also fun to hear about her experiences. I was really glad about the turnout.”
Munn was a lively speaker, raising both laughs and shouts of approval from the audience, but she also made a point to outline the main reason why she supports Obama, namely the Supreme Court.
Munn believes Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will most likely retire within the next four years, which would mean the next president would be able to appoint a new justice. Munn said presidential candidate Mitt Romney has already promised to appoint a justice who would help overturn Roe vs. Wade, the controversial 1973 court case legalizing abortion. The current Supreme Court is narrowly in favor of the decision, 5-4, according to most estimations, but without Ginsburg, the Court would be evenly split at 4-4.
“If (Romney) is elected, he will get someone in there to overturn Roe vs. Wade, which means that abortion will be illegal, even in (cases of) incest and rape,” Munn said. “That means if Mitt Romney is elected, he is going to successfully turn the clock backwards 50 years on women’s rights and say that we aren’t allowed to make choices on our own bodies. Every day on the campaign, President Obama is saying we’ve got to move forward, we can’t go backwards, and Mitt Romney is actually saying oh no, let’s go backwards, oh, and also, women, stay in the kitchen. Be pretty and don’t wear pants.”
While Munn’s speech certainly sparked cheers of approval from the audience, others on campus were more skeptical.
“That just isn’t factual,” said Gregory Peters, a Republican and Marquette graduate who heard about Munn’s speech but was not in attendance. “She simply doesn’t know what she’s talking about, which isn’t really surprising. She is an actress, not a politician, and her speech really made that clear. I would have thought that she would be smart enough to check her facts before spewing nonsense at students.”