Univ. Confirms It Was Responsible For Tucson Memorial T-Shirts Criticized By Conservatives

January 14, 2011 10:16 a.m.

As TPM was first to report Wednesday, conservatives found themselves up in arms about T-shirts that were given out during the Tucson memorial for victims of last Saturday’s shooting.

Some said the T-shirts, which read “Together We Thrive: Tucson & America,” were an inappropriate political statement orchestrated by the White House, since President Obama spoke at the memorial.TPM reported Wednesday that the memorial, including the T-shirts, was organized by the University of Arizona. Now, the school confirms that it was responsible for the T-shirts.

“It was our idea to do the T-shirts,” a university spokeswoman, Jennifer Fitzenberger, told Fox Nation.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Tucson Heroes: Arizonans Shine In Face Of Tragedy]

“The University wanted to give people something to remember that symbolized community spirit and continued the event’s positive energy into the future,” she told Mediaite.

According to Fitzenberger, the shirts were designed by a University of Arizona student, and they cost about $60,000. “The University will pay for them,” she noted. “No tuition, state allocations, tax dollars or student fees will be used.”

Many have also wondered how the shirts were produced so quickly. According to Fitzenberger, “The UA BookStores made the arrangements to produce the shirts. The BookStores knew a vendor that could turn them around fast.”

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