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USC young Republicans allege phony CNN interview

July 24, 2008 |  9:04 pm

The president of the College Republicans at the University of Southern California is charging that CNN used a "fake College Republican" in its broadcast report today, claiming there was a lack of enthusiasm for the GOP candidate, Sen. John McCain.

A CNN spokeswoman now says it was an inadvertent error.

In its Thursday morning report, according to a news release from the student organization, CNN interviewed someone identified as Eric Pearlmutter, who was said to be a USC student and College Republican.

"We try to get people out to our College Republican meetings, but we can't seem to get the same amount of support," he said.

Ben Myers, the president of USC College Republicans, saScreen grab of a USC student incorrectly identified by CNN as a member of the USC College Republicansid, "I have never met Eric Pearlmutter. I have never seen him at a College Republican meeting. He is not on our membership roster. I don't know why someone would think he speaks for us. As far as I know, he could be a Democrat."

A CNN spokeswoman admitted the error this evening in an e-mailed response: "“Eric Perlmutter appeared on today’s 'American Morning' segment about young Republicans on college campuses. While he attends USC and says that he is a registered Republican, he was inadvertently identified on-screen as a member of the USC College Republicans organization. 

"We regret that error. We have invited Ben Myers, the president of the USC College Republicans organization, to appear on 'American Morning' at a future time.”

Myers also said his Republican club meetings regularly attract 30-40 attendees, which he said is more than college Democrats.

"I'm not saying that McCain is going to win big among youth voters," Myers added. "But to claim that his support is weak among young Republicans is just pure liberal media propaganda. Real College Republicans are fired up for McCain. He's our kind of Republican… a maverick."

-- Andrew Malcolm