Karl Rove speaks at U

The speech was met with minor resistance from a handful of protesters.

Senior advisor to the Bush administration and author Karl Rove speaks to the University of Minnesota College Republicans at Smith Hall on Thursday.  After his lecture, Rove signed copies of his new book, Courage and Consequence.

Joe Michaud-Scorza

Senior advisor to the Bush administration and author Karl Rove speaks to the University of Minnesota College Republicans at Smith Hall on Thursday. After his lecture, Rove signed copies of his new book, “Courage and Consequence”.

by Raghav Mehta

Greeted with everything from resounding applause to scornful chants, Karl Rove, a former senior advisor to George. W. Bush, spoke in front of about 100 people Thursday in Smith hall. Partnering with Young AmericaâÄôs Foundation and Students for a Conservative Voice, the University of Minnesota College Republicans hosted the event which included a Q&A session and book signing. Aside from a handful of interruptions, the audience was civil and supportive. Touching on a variety of topics that included the 2008 election, health care reform and reenergizing the conservative voice on college campuses, Rove spoke to an adoring crowd of University students and supporters before fielding questions from the audience. While Rove directed a great deal of his criticism toward the Obama administration and recent democratic-led initiatives, he opened his speech by acknowledging the historical significance of the United States electing its first black president. âÄúIt says something good about our country, whether you voted for him or not, and frankly, I didnâÄôt,âÄù Rove said. âÄú[People] voted for him because heâÄôs aspirational and inspirational,âÄù he added. Carrying on with a passionate but humorous tone, Rove lambasted the stimulus package. He acknowledged the need for government intervention, but deemed the stimulus package a failure and cited the national rise in unemployment as a main example. âÄúWeâÄôre getting exactly what they told us would happen if we didn’t pass the stimulus package. And the reason is a lack of presidential leadership in coming up with a stimulus package that actually worked,âÄù Rove said. Before opening the floor for questions, Rove also criticized health care reform legislation, calling it a âÄúfinancial fraud.âÄù Rove addressed submitted questions that ranged from political ethics to military policy in the Middle East. When asked why he chose to speak at the University, he stressed that it was difficult to be a conservative student on a âÄúpredominately liberalâÄù college campus. When speaking about the U.S. military presence in the Middle East, Rove was interrupted by members of Students for a Democratic Society chanting âÄúWho is the terrorist? Rove is the terrorist.âÄù âÄúHe was the brains behind a lot of terrible things the Bush administration did. The most major one and obvious one is the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,âÄù said Tracy Molm, a Students for a Democratic Society officer. âÄúWe donâÄôt want people to forget that this was a mistake.âÄù There were also more minor interruptions with attendees shouting âÄúwar criminalâÄù and profanities. Protesters were immediately escorted out of the building by security. Rove would not comment on the protesters. He closed his visit with a book signing that saw a handful of confrontations. One attendee approached Rove posing as a supporter beginning by saying âÄúI am alarmed by out of control government spending and I revere a long study of the constitutionâĦâÄù But he shifted tones as he came closer adding âÄúwhich is why IâÄôm sort of amazed that you perpetrated not one, but two illegal wars that continue to cost over ten thousand American livesâĦâÄù The man was then tackled by a group of police officers and hand cuffed. The attendee was not charged and was released by officers after the event. Sean Niemic, a member of College Republicans said he was glad Rove had the opportunity to speak and appreciated how he addressed the need for imploring more young people to move toward the conservative spectrum. âÄúRove has a viewpoint that is not well-received on campus and isnâÄôt often presented by the University and academiaâÄù Neimic said.