updated 8/31/2004 7:04:50 PM ET 2004-08-31T23:04:50

Filmmaker Michael Moore said he will return to the Republican National Convention where delegates roundly booed his presence on opening night.

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Moore is covering the convention this week as an opinion columnist for USA Today and arrived at Madison Square Garden in time for Sen. John McCain’s primetime speech on Monday night.

When McCain alluded to Moore’s anti-Bush documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” delegates began chanting and booing in the direction of the filmmaker, who was in the media section of the convention hall.

“I now know what the Christians probably felt like walking into the Coliseum,” Moore said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press.

Moore, who seemed to relish the tumult, said he would return despite the chilly reception “because I’m here to cover the convention and I’m here to write about what I see.”

Moore’s presence attracted attention from the beginning of his arrival.

According to Mark Benoit, Moore’s spokesman, it took Moore and his group almost 45 minutes to get through security checkpoints because of the throng of reporters and television cameras that followed him.

At one point, police officers refused credentialed reporters access into the press stands where Moore was sitting.

“I knew he’d be a celebrity but I was surprised by the extent of both the media coverage and the security reaction,” said Owen Ullmann, Moore’s USA Today editor. “It created more of a disruption than was intended.”

Ullmann initially said that Moore would not be returning to Madison Square Garden. But he later said, in the end, the columnist has “to speak for himself.”

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