March 10, 2008
Rove taunted at University of Iowa
(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.

I was there. The crowd was fairly evenly split, but those that hated him were much louder. The first 10 minutes were wasted with jeers from the crowd and idiots who planned to cause a ruckus until they were removed. I lost two bets: First, that someone would get tasered. Second, that we would hear the line "Don't tase me, bro!"
After we got started, the journalism prof/interviewer tried to trick Rove into admitting errors, but he was hopelessly outmatched. Rove is really smart, surprisingly articulate and fairly funny. When asked a serious question, he would give multiple examples of why his response was correct, backed by a serious dose of logic. I didn't always agree with his conclusions, but they were definitely well thought out.
When asked ridiculous things, Rove would usually point out the flaws in the question. One question asked about Bush's tenuous relations with the press and Rove's assertion that news was driven by commercial interests. The implication was that journalists are not driven by capitalism, rather by reporting on appropriate stories. Rove responded by saying that we don't have a state run media here, that all reporters work for companies who pay their salaries by selling subscriptions and advertising. They are incented to get as many viewers as possible and will do what is needed to acquire those viewers. Therefore, Rove said, the foundation of the question is untrue and he didn't need to answer the larger part.
The best line of the night came in response to a question about Bush's lying about the war. Rove said he'd like to read a quote from the President of the United States. The quote was about how Saddam had WMDs and we needed to disarm him. Then he read a similar quote from the VP, and the Secretary of State. The crowd hooted and hollered during the whole thing, jeering the lies that Rove was reading. Then Rove said these quotes were collected in 1998, and came from Clinton, Gore and Albright. It was pretty funny.


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