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. Ames Tiedeman

    Let them bash all they want. I have some predictions if Hillary becomes President:

    1. She will think of every reason not to leave Iraq.
    2. She will be tougher on Iran than Bush
    3. She will become knows ad the dictator, or "Queen Hillary."
    4. Her Presidency will be in shambles with few accomplishments
    5. She will antagonize the right so much that NOTHING gets fixed
    6. She will be the most hated President since Nixon or Carter
    7. The left will turn on her and the right will say, "we told you so."
    8. Bill Clinton will be considered an idiot after is flops as first husband
    9. Taxes will go up and economic production down.
    10. She will do nothing about the budget or trade deficits.

    March 10, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. art

    Q: did you ever shed a tear over Iraq?

    Rove: yes, when they started investigating the no-bid contracts.

    March 10, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. S.Mike

    rove Should be laughed at, spit on then run out of town...anytown...everytown!!!

    March 10, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. Ana

    "Can you believe that FOX News actually hired this criminal clown to work on their show?"

    Yes, I can believe it. It's not the first time they've signed on a criminal. Fox also hired Oliver North as one of their illustrious pundits.

    March 10, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. Damian

    Carl Rove is the GOP's worst enemy. The very presence of him reminds Americans about all they hate about the Bush years. He is will key in the general election race for the Democrats to seal the deal. Even worse than George Bush endorsing John McCain, Carl Rove making any kind of public appearances.

    March 10, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Tom G

    True Americans will give this neo-clown what for at every public appearance he makes. He should go back to what ever snake hole in Texas that he crawled out of.

    March 10, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. simple thought ?

    karl, i'm a deaf vet. i sign to communicate. my comment is simple.
    read the middle finger of either hand.


    March 10, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. Peg

    The old saying "what goes around....comes around," will someday come back to haunt him......maybe while he's in jail.

    March 10, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. stuart_zechman


    She's the best for you and me!


    Obama time to be VP!


    Vote for her or sexist you B!

    March 10, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. TheLeftNut

    I LOVE how all the W.A.C.K jobs come onto the message boards and criticize "liberals" for be "nasty" and "hateful".

    I remember back in 2000 and 2004 when "liberals" were criticized for "not talking from the heart" and being too "academic" and "too intellectual".

    I guess that's just the way the "loosing team" rationalizes...hmmm.


    W.A.C.K = "White American Consertive Know-it-all" e.g. Limbaugh, Coulter, O'Reilly etc

    W.A.C.K job = a person who listens to a W.A.C.K hence, becoming a product of a W.A.C.K and relies on the W.A.C.K for all high brain functions such as reasoning and perception

    March 10, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. Harvey, Tampa, FL

    Why in the world do we place so much importance on the thoughts and opinions of 18 to 21 year-olds at college forums? I was once one of those 18-21 year-olds at Penn State, and lets just say at 44 I know TONS more now than I knew back then.

    I'm not suggesting that college-aged people are dumb in any way, but they certainly don't have a lot of life's experiences under their belts like most 40+ people...

    March 10, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. M.

    I'd say it's definitely a toss up as to who was the worst person in this regime...Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rove, Rice...Take your pick...They all bear responsibility for the quagmire that has become this country...Let's look forward to better...GO IOWA!

    March 10, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. The silent majority

    Go Hawkeyes! Let Rove know that he could not corrupt the minds of Midwesterners after he corrupted Washington along with his master Bush and the gang. Paying him $1 to speak was just too much let alone $40K! He should be ashamed of his criminal arrogance.

    March 10, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. Randy - Denver

    As an independent voter I have favored Mr. Obama this campaign, I have read his stand on the issues and his books, I have also read Ms. Clinton's stand on the issues and he books. I have read Mr. McCain's stand, as well as most of the candidates that have fallen on the campaign. I recognize that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats will get everything they wish for from their campaigns, and that either party will most likely ahve to surrender on something they really support, that is the nature of compromise and that is the nature of our Government, compromise not destroy. based on the information I have read, my understandign of the job of the president (spelled out pretty clearly in the Constitution) and my personal impression of the candidates I feel Mr. Obama would make the better president. If he is not allowed to run because of mechanization by the Clinton campaign, I will definately vote for Mr. McCain. Not a threat just an observation by an Independent voter. I am not bound to a party but to a person and I feel the CHARACTER is more important than EXPERIANCE. As a person with a BS in HRM i was taught that experiance is not as driving a factor as character when hiring a person, and the more important the job the more important the character is over the experiance.

    March 10, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  15. Yankee Dog

    Way to go Iowa! Lets hope more people attending future Rove events do the same. This slime must be slammed at every possible opportunity.

    Also, what a waste of $40,000 - just think what the University could have done with that kind of money, and to think they paid Rove that amount to hear his evil spew..... the mind boggles....

    March 10, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. krill

    Don't mess with IOWA!

    March 10, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. AtlantaVoter

    JAS said:

    "You got a chance to …make your stupid statements, let me make mine."

    Karl, there just isn't enough time.

    Exactly what I planned to say...apparently Rove gets a bit testy when he is not allowed to make all of his stupid statements. I should have known it was just wishful thinking on my part that we would not have to see or hear from him again.

    Do you mean people actually PAY to listen to him?

    March 10, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  18. AJ

    Rove should join the Obama campaign. They are two peas in a pod.

    March 10, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  19. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    What a sad state of affairs and a real disgrace to this institution.

    Regardless of their political beliefs, or their personal beliefs–these young adults showed profound personal immaturity and total lack self-restraint. This forum was no political rally.

    If this is an example of the kind of future leaders they're turning out in Iowa–we're in deep Kimchee!!

    March 10, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. maynard

    hello folks ;

    i running for office will anyone pay me or donate to me for my political outlook.. I running for clean politics and straight from the hip news reporting.. its time to clean up the mess and get to the heart of things..

    WHATS WRONG WITH THE COUNTRY AND HOW ARE YOU GOING TO FIX THE PROBLEMS will you pay me $40,000 to tell you how to do it..

    once again its time to clean up the mess and put a mouth gag on the reporters you must add to the already disgusting ordeal of politics

    March 10, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. justthefactsma'am

    Perhaps Mr Rove will now go back into hiding? Good job U of Iowa! Now you know you should have been harder on this hate monger.

    March 10, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. Jerry

    Hey Jen-O-palooza,

    Brilliant. Yes, those dangerous academics. We should rid ourselves of these evil institutions of learning... Academia is the reason you can read and write. I'm guessing you're from Kansas...they don't allow those crazy academics to meddle too much with teaching there. Go creationism! (sarcasm)

    Jen-0-palooza March 10th, 2008 10:26 am ET

    Leave it to Academia that they would welcome Iranian's President and think Rove is too controversial. What a JOKE!

    March 10, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. Alex H

    RightyTighty March 10th, 2008 10:32 am ET

    Political Science, Art and Theater, now those are the degree's of the mindless liberals. Just who I want answering the phone at 3 AM..

    Lets put William Buckley on that Poli-sci degree holding list of mindless liberals. I'll bet he's rolling in his grave for your ignorance.

    March 10, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. S. Mike

    To all of you far right wacco's check out what the turncoat rove said about you. He stated that he is an agnostic ( one that doesn't believe in God) but that all he had to do to get the Religous right to do whatever he wanted he would just include gay marriage, gun control or abortions to whatever agenda he wanted and you would do whatever he wished for. He is truly your champion. He just doesn't believe in God

    March 10, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. CBoz

    The students' behavior in this incident is something that goes beyond just Karl Rove. I've been in academia for close to 30 years, and, frankly, this is typical of how folks on the left think and behave - freedom of speech only applies to *them*; screaming and juvenile "protests" and displays are fine; blind, irrational hatred is something only the right wingers suffer from, everyone else is wrong *but them*, etc.

    Once these students go out and get real jobs and have real responsibilities, we'll see how they act. Chances are, at least some of them will grow up.

    March 10, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
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