Within seconds of Karl Rove beginning a speech to the UMASS-Amherst and Smith College Republicans Tuesday night, protesters who had been demonstrating outside the auditorium began heckling him inside. Utilizing the Occupy Wall Street-inspired “mic check” call and response tactic, the protesters attempted to shout down Rove by calling him a “murderer” and a “terrorist.”
Reporting for CBS 3 in Springfield, Cherise Leclerc said that Rove told them he would answer their questions once his speech was over, but that did not deter the hecklers. “Why don’t you wait until the Q&A session and then we’ll talk about terrorism, OK, buddy?” Rove said at one point, drawing cheers from his supporters in the crowd.
When it came to criticism about his role in the Iraq War, Rove lost his temper according to The Republican‘s Robert Rizzuto. “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 responded. “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.”
Police eventually escorted the protesters out of the auditorium, where they continued their demonstration. “He’s a war criminal,” said protester Priscilla Lynch outside the building, “and we shouldn’t be paying him and coming here to listen to him speak. We should be doing a citizen’s arrest.”
Meanwhile, Rocco Giordano, a member of the UMASS Republicans Club said that Rove’s speech was “a nice change of pace” from what he sees as a predominantly liberal campus atmosphere.
Watch video below, via CBS 3 Springfield:
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