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. 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 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. TP

    My hat is off to the students in Iowa. But I feel sorry for whoever wasted $40,000. One might think such a fee can entice a speaker with dignity, conscience and respect. All of those attributes surely not found with Mr. Rove.

    March 10, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. Jack

    Good job Iowa!
    Rove should not be allowed in the civilized world.
    The likes of him and Ann Coulter should get together with Rush Limbaugh.
    Who knows Rush might finally get to use his smuggled blue pills.

    March 10, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. Renee

    Carl Rove, is not to be trusted and to have a job on Fox that said they are BALANCED. This is UNBALANCED.

    March 10, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. S. Mike

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

    March 10, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    i love iowa!

    March 10, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Pam Iowa

    I think Cheney needs to plan another hunting trip and take Karl with him!
    Maybe this time....................

    March 10, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. Shawn Smith, Kansas City, MO

    It's good to see him be put under the pressure and scrutiny, much like how he put all the gays and lesbians through hell during his uncouth attempt at the Federal Marriage Amendment. Him and his buddies, Jerry Falwell and Fred Phelps basically stole the 2004 Election with their rhetoric of hatred. I hope he has trouble sleeping at night.

    March 10, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. A Bag of Chips

    Maybe Karl Rove should have performed his famous rap!!! Perhaps the response would have been different!!!

    March 10, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  10. Pam Dubuque IA

    I think Cheney needs to plan another hunting trip and take Karl with him! Maybe this time..............................

    March 10, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  11. brenda

    I will bet that he didnt shed a tear at all for all of those who lost their lives in this war that should never have been. It can be said that the person you do not want to have a debate with is the average college student . This used to be true when a higher education was all that it was worth, plus more. Todays college kids, however, are too busy trying to pick a fight, partying and spending mom and dads money. They are too busy "talking" about how things needs to CHANGE (so that their future is bright) but are too dumb to actually do something about it. Yes, they want change and are very glad that they can pin thier hopes on Obama to make this happen, BUT they do not know how or what it takes to BELIEVE in themselves and so they believe in Obama and HOPE that he can make life so easy for them after they graduate that they can just glide through life with relative ease. What a waste of a mind. Geez.

    March 10, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. Bob H, Minneapolis,MN

    Good job Iowa! It's about time Rove got called out over his sleazy methods and values.

    March 10, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. Vic

    He is a criminal!! Way to go Iowa. We need more college kids thinking for themselves and trying to arrest him..that is just pure Gold!!

    March 10, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. Chris, Washington, D.C.

    To Jen-O-palooza,

    You pick on institutions of learning for saying Rove is too controversial, but that's clearly not what happened. They paid him $40K to come speak, and clearly people showed up to listen to him speak. Sure they heckled him, but if you remember, Ahmadinejad was heckled and laughed at too. All part of the magic of free speech. They can say what they want, but the crowd can say what they want right back at them.

    March 10, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. Constantine, Fort Myers

    Praetorian, Fort Myers: wrote

    these young adults showed profound personal immaturity and total lack self-restraint

    Dude, wake up. I respect your combat boots but it's time to realize the attrocities of war and of the BUSH/CHENEY/ROVE administration.

    (No wonder Contantine disbanded the Paetorian Guard)

    March 10, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  16. Elizabeth Nichols

    Good for the students of Iowa!!

    March 10, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  17. Ryan

    FOR THE RECORD, the University of Iowa is not Iowa State. Iowa State is a different school in Ames. (Most people at the U of I would jokingly take that as an insult, as ISU is the rival state school stereotyped as a bunch of hicks, even if it is actually a fine institution.)

    March 10, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. Mauro Heck

    After he called the students and audience stupid two times i had to yell him from the third row:..."stop being so arrogant, you are a liar and you have blood on your hands"... he naively showed his hands to the public and then, because I was wearing a Kafia around my neck he angrily proceeded to comment on my sympathies for the .
    Mauro Heck, Iowa City

    March 10, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  19. Gino

    Doesn't anyone around here know the difference between a plural and a possessive? The University of Iowa "doesn't produce Einstein's." Einstein's what? And where did you get your degree. Give it back.

    March 10, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. Tracy J


    The children aren't mindless and disrespectful, they are exercising their rights!! They have the right to choose who and what they want to die for. You sound like they are wrong for chosing not to die for this lie of a war!! Note: To all of you who are here and agree with the war, sign up and go fight!! Put your life where your mouth is!!

    March 10, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Jenny from IN

    First, let me say that I am SHOCKED at how many people on here are actually trying to defend Karl Rove. Neoconservatives that hate Americans and the constitution sticking together.

    Second, for those who say this indicates a low "maturity" level of liberals, and I believe someone used the phrase "intellectually lazy", you are just showing how ignorant and irrelevant the right wing has become. These kids had every right to do what they did and they had a responsibility to. This man deserves to suffer, and since our neconservative government won't do anything about it, we have to chip away at his dignity piece by piece. And how are these kids "intellectually lazy"? At least they know what's going on in politics, which is far more than I can say for anyone who tried to condemn their action on here.

    Ann Coulter came to my university and got the same treatment. All neoconservatives deserve this.

    And good job, Republicans, for letting your party and your views get jacked by the neoconservatives. You don't realize that your beliefs changed overnight. I guess that shows how "solid" you are. And that's the straight talk.

    Oh, and for the lady who said she was happy these kids did this instead of just going to rallies for Barack Obama like he's a rock star, get a grip. Why can't people accept that the youth in America ARE DOING THEIR HOMEWORK AND HAVE BEEN LISTENING AND WATCHING FOR THE PAST EIGHT YEARS. WE HAVE LEARNED FROM THE MISTAKES OF THE ADULTS WHO GOT BUSH ELECTED TWICE AND HAVE NOT ASKED FOR MORE ACCOUNTABILITY FROM OUR GOVERNMENT.

    Don't knock the youth vote. The youth have actually done their homework on the candidates. It's the older generation who I find shockingly ignorant of the truth and continually repeating Hillary propaganga in a ridiculous way.

    March 10, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  22. Gino

    Sorry. Where did you get your degree?

    March 10, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. James, Houston, TX.

    the Univ. of Iowa should file a "Stop Payment " on the $40 Thousand it Only cost a $25 Fee! Reason: Failure to deliver the Goods, as Usual!
    Let Karl contact FEMA !

    March 10, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. TheLeftNut

    Harvey, Tampa, FL wrote:

    ...Why in the world do we place so much importance on the thoughts and opinions of 18 to 21 year-olds 44 I know TONS more now than I knew back then...

    Well that's because you were pretty stupid back then and your pretty stupid now. It's just at 44, you better at DENIAL

    March 10, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. Anne Johnson

    I'm proud of people who support the Constitution and the rule of law, and to those people who attack people who support the Constitution and the rule of law, why do you live in a state with the motto of "Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain?" You need to move to a state with the motto of "Our Leader Right Or Wrong." Maybe North Korea.

    March 10, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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