By GENE RACZ
and JOHN MAJESKI
EDISON — As protesters chanted “Hey Bush we know you — you’re a thief, a liar, and a killer too!” the presidential motorcade sped into Raritan Center Wednesday for a Republican fundraiser.
Shortly after 5 p.m., President Bush arrived at the New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center to raise money for the state’s Republican Party and was jeered and heckled by approximately 150 protesters who had gathered for a rally in a nearby parking lot.
Hazlet resident Richard Fuller, 72, was part of the unwelcoming party. The retired schoolteacher and Monmouth County Green Party coordinator clutched a sign reading: “W’s Report Card: death, destruction, debt, deficit, deceit.” Each “D” was highlighted in red.
“Somebody said the marks weren’t low enough — he should’ve gotten an “F,’ ” Fuller said.
The protesters held signs, sang songs, waved flags and heard speeches for about two hours prior to Bush’s arrival. Bruce Springsteen tunes blared at times. Along an adjoining roadway, more protesters held signs and engaged passing motorists to honk for support. One sign read: “How many pints of blood are in a gallon of gas?” Another read: “Impeach the Murdering Liar.” Another simply read: “Bad Bush. Arf! Arf!”
Perhaps the most moving item held by protesters was a long string from which 54 placards hung — each with the face, name and hometown of a New Jersey soldier who has died in the Iraq war thus far. The placards also listed how each was killed.
Lawmakers join in
The rally was sponsored by New Jersey Citizen Action and Americans Against Escalation in Iraq. The broad-based coalition of organizations and associations was joined by Choi, state Sen. Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, Rep. Frank Pallone, D-6th Dist., and Assemblyman Joseph Cryan, D-Union, in the parking lot. Serving as a backdrop was a school bus painted red, white and blue with the slogan “Bus for Change.” The bus is operated by a small grass-roots group of anti-Bush citizens.
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