UMass Amherst Protesters Called Karl Rove a ‘Terrorist’

The former Bush advisor got a predictably chilly welcome in Amherst on Monday.


Screenshot via CBS 3

Karl Rove probably knew when he agreed to a speaking engagement at the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus that this wouldn’t be his crowd. And boy did UMass students confirm that as protesters shouted “murderer” and “terrorist” at him throughout his speech to the UMass and Smith College Republicans Monday evening.

A CBS 3 report has footage of the confrontation (as well as commentary from a protester who thought the Amherst community ought to be making a citizens arrest of Rove, which … well, the arrest was unsuccessful. We’ll leave it there.) The protests centered around Rove’s role in the Bush Administration as it launched the Iraq War. The Springfield Republican reports that Rove lost his cool at one point as he addressed the hecklers:

“If you object to that, I want you to show up the next time Hillary Clinton comes here and tell her you disagree with her vote,” Rove yelled back as he completely lost his temper on stage. “It’s either that or you’re saying those people were hoodwinked and that’s an insult to those people including Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, and others.”

Ugh, it’s so like a political operative to take a criticism of alleged war crimes and change the conversation to which party should be held to account. At any rate, UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy took the stage at one point to quell the outbursts, and police eventually escorted the protesters from the venue.

Rove tends to get the whole “war criminal” thing a lot. So he had to know there’d be protesters in a place like Amherst, begging the question of why he came at all. The Republican notes that “Rove dropped his typical $25,000 speaking fee to $15,000 so the students could afford to book him.” Ahhh, it’s all so clear now.

  • hotwaterbottle

    I was present at the speech last night. I had never been a particular fan of Mr. Rove but admittedly hadn’t known that much about him and my family wanted to attend with me. Also I wanted to help ensure he had a right to speak; I was concerned the same thing might happen as happened to a polite young man named Ryan Sorba who attempted to speak at Smith College in 2008 and literally had his speech shut down by protestors (lesbians) who were climbing in the window, shouting, pacing back in forth in front of him, and yelling into his face (I saw it online after the fact and it bothered me deeply. It was disgusting that Smith College allowed this to happen and did not remove or to my knowledge punish the protestors. They absolutely had a right to hold a sign outside or shout outside but I found what occurred to be chilling. The man was literally not allowed to speak because the protestors, and due to their inaction, presumably the police and college, disagreed with him. BTW I don’t even agree with most of what he endorses but he is not intent on harming people.
    Re last eve, I was pleasantly surprised at how intelligent Mr. Rove appeared. He was quick on his feet, and not a TelePromptEr in sight. None of the press coverage has acknowledged that alot of people were applauding him and angry at the protestors for disturbing the speech (again, perfectly fine to protest outside); not surprisingly, there are obviously some conservative students at UMass. Mr. Rove brought up some of the concerns I have such as voter fraud by the Democrats.
    BTW I am not a Republican.

  • Stephen J. O’Rourke

    I guess those “rowdies” we’re members of the tolerant left. They can’t handle the truth! (Think I heard that in a movie!) when people are afraid to listen to a contrary opinion, you have to believe they are on a losing side of an issue.

  • Stephen J. O’Rourke

    An afterthought: perhaps the lefties will feel better knowing the conservatives are trashing Rove now. Looks like he’ll be attending those faculty parties soon.