Republican strategist and Fox News contributor Karl Rove spoke at Umass Amherst last night to a crowd of several hundred. While Rove attempted to give a speech on health care, the federal debt, and foreign policy, he was greeted by protests and frequent interruptions from audience members.
Just seconds after taking the stage, Rove was interrupted by a group of protesters, who said he has built a career on lying.
This was the first of several groups to interrupt his speech. Many protestors held signs declaring Rove a liar and war criminal. Rove served as the central strategist in former president George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns, and as deputy chief of staff in Bush’s second term. Rove was brought to campus by the Umass Republican club. Club president David Kaufman says Rove charged the group 15,000 dollars rather than his usual 25,000 dollar speaking fee. Kaufman says Rove’s fee was the majority of the club’s annual budget, but the group is known for hosting large annual events.
“This is what we’re known for, the big events. We’re not as much of a grassroots campaign, or organizer you could say, as the UDems, the Democrat club.”
The outbursts died down later in Rove’s speech, then he opened the floor to questions. Rove responded to one about the Republican party’s problem with reaching young voters and voters of color.
“We need to campaign aggressively throughout the country. Why in the hell do you think I’m in Amherst, Massachusetts for God’s sake?”
When asked if he would still advise President Bush to invade Iraq, Rove said he would.