March 10th, 2008
05:30 PM ET
12 years ago

Rove taunted at University of Iowa

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rove spoke at the University of Iowa Sunday."]

(CNN) - Former top Bush aide Karl Rove didn't get the friendliest of receptions at the University of Iowa Sunday, CNN affiliate KCRG reports.

Rove, who was paid $40,000 to speak at the University, was confronted with an at-times hostile crowd of 1,000, and was interrupted on several occasions.

At one point during the speech, Rove reportedly lashed out at some of the students, saying, "You got a chance to ask your questions later and make your stupid statements, let me make mine."

Police also were forced to remove two people after they tried to perform a citizen’s arrest on Rove for what they said were his crimes while a member of the Bush Administration.

At one point, a person asked Rove if he has ever shed a tear over the war in Iraq.

"I shed a lot of tears and I have been inspired by many of the people who feel their son or daughter should not have to die in vain," he replied.

Toward the end of the speech a member of the crowd yelled, "Can we have our $40,000 back?"

Rove replied, “No, you can't.”

Radio Iowa also reports one audience member told Rove that MSNBC's Keith Olbermann named him the "worst person ever."

"Ever?" Rove joked. "Yea, worse than Hitler, worse than Stalin, worse than Mao and worse than the person who introduced aluminum baseball bats."

Cameras were only allowed to film the beginning of the speech.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Karl Rove
soundoff (335 Responses)
  1. Michelle

    I don't believe in HELL... but whenever I see or hear Karl Rove – I REALLY hope I'm wrong about that!

    March 10, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. OBAMA 08

    I have a great idea. If waterboarding is not cruel and inhuman punishment, the entire Bush administration should try it out.

    March 10, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. Dan

    I thought this guy got booed off the stage of American politics. I doubt he'll ever be tried for what he did, but I'm just as happy to let the poor sad man rot in obscurity... can't he just leave us alone.

    March 10, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. Toochi


    so much for your "liberal college degree" theory...

    March 10, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. Nelson, Colorado Springs Co

    Why do the University of Iowa pay good money to hear rove speak about what, rove need to refund the $40,000 back ,he jump ship when bush was headed south on everything so did a lot of bush parters

    March 10, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. Sheldon

    Why would the University of Iowa want Karl Rove on their campus corrupting our young people? He is at the lowest of human decency. The only thing he can do is fabricatel lies and steal elections for Bush. He could have gotten Valerie Plame killed. What a disgrace to the United States of America.

    March 10, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. TNYC


    March 10, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. Greg

    I suspect the protesters were disrespectful EGObama supporters

    March 10, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. Jerry - Davenport, Iowa

    I'm really proud odf these Hawkeye students!!

    March 10, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  10. Thomas M. Walter

    OK republikrats...

    Now how are u gonna blame the Clintons?

    March 10, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. George

    Toochi March 10th, 2008 10:56 am ET
    Says "I've read somewhere that Karl never completed an undergrad degree…is this true?"

    Absolutly! That is why he still has a brain of his own!

    March 10, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  12. Alex, Iowa City

    Two reasons we were there was that student's tuition is going to pay a very wealthy man, whom many consider a war criminal, more than our TAs make in a year. Secondly that he was listed as "controversial speaker" up until about two weeks before he was supposed to come, when they revealed it was Mr. Rove, giving the student body little time to react.

    What's more, many of the protesters were part of the Iowa City community and/or University faculty, like myself. Many of Mr. Rove's supporters (I think they were a minority of the crowd) were the College Republicans, so I don't think the mantle of experience (as some have argued here) was worn by those who kept quiet except to applaud after Rove called those against the war "stupid", and Middle Easterners "barbarians".

    "Teach us about the Truth, Karl!"

    March 10, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  13. RightyTighty

    Sorry for the grammatical errors Lefty. My Math and Science degrees didnt focus on sentence structure much, not to mention my big fat lazy fingers..

    March 10, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. JD

    Who would PAY to hear Karl Rove ?

    March 10, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  15. fred

    As well he should be...he should be in jail!!!

    March 10, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. Andrew

    Blah.. Blah .. Blah ..
    If you don't like Rove, then why invite him and pay him 40K to come talk at your campus?
    If you didn't pay him and didn't want him there, then here's an idea, DON'T GO .. if he shows up to an empty room, he'll get the message.
    Acting like a bunch of children on a playground throwing sand only shows just how immature you really are.
    Grow up.

    March 10, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. Alice

    Liberals. What a bunch of hypocrites. They shout down someone because they don't like what he has to say, but blast the Bush Administration relentlessly about taking away their civil rights. Rove OBVIOUSLY has more character than his detractors. Whew...what a bunch of airheads.

    March 10, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  18. PDC

    Hey Edgar –

    Iraq didn't have anything to do with 9/11.

    March 10, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. Heartland Neighbor

    How about those Hawkeyes! RightyTighty should learn to use an apostrophe before impugning the quality of an Iowa education.

    March 10, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. Felix

    Anyone remember Rove's mentor?
    Lee Atwater. When Atwater found out he was terminal with cancer (appropriately), he went round apologizing to the people he spent his life trashing. Would Rove have the courage ?

    March 10, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  21. Rogue Rove

    Why should this man be paid a dime for ripping up the Constitution and raping the country?

    Boooooooooo To Rove. He's a big fat lying pig.

    March 10, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. American Patriot

    the same goes for LEFTYLOOSEY and their comments above.

    Dont trust them they are Corporate wannabe

    March 10, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. Ellen

    What was the school thinking to bring a person so hated by the left? Oh well, he still has his gig with FOX news, where his infamy is lauded.

    March 10, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. Richard, FL

    No matter how immoral and repulsive a speaker is, everyone should let them talk at a formal speech. We are all free to protest before and after. They weren't forced to see "Turd Blossom", whose most recent blatant lie was "the administration was opposed to voting on (the Iraq war resolution) in the fall of 2002".

    March 10, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. Joe

    This is too bad! Mr. Rove and Mr. Bush are American Heroes!!! These people should be banned from rallies!!! Anyone who thinks Bush is bad, should try to be president with this world! After all, Bush is dealing with Clinton's unwillingness to act, and the US is paying for it! If Clinton would have been more concerned about America than Interns it might be a different story!

    March 10, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
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