Karl Rove carries on through speech amid protests - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Karl Rove carries on through speech amid protests

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UMass police escort protestors from auditorium UMass police escort protestors from auditorium
AMHERST, MA (WSHM) -

A standing ovation for Karl Rove quickly took a different turn at his visit to UMass Amherst Tuesday night.

Seconds into his speech, protestors starting screaming out every few moments, yelling things like "murderer".

Rove told them he'd be happy to answer their questions once his speech was done.

"Why don't you wait until the Q and A session and then we can talk about terrorism, OK?" Rove said to one protestor.

UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy even took the microphone at one point, noticeably upset at the outbursts. 

Police eventually escorted protestors from the auditorium.

Before Rove took the stage, police were already out front of the auditorium, preparing for the group of protestors outside, holding signs saying "war criminal".

"He's a war criminal and we shouldn't be paying him and listening to him come here to speak, we should be doing a citizen's arrest," said Priscilla Lynch.

Rove was paid and invited by the UMass and Smith College Republicans clubs. They say the conservative voice is missing from campus.

"For conservatives on campus it's a nice change of pace and for liberals it's a nice chance to confront him," said UMass Republican Club member, Rocco Giordano.

And they did confront him.

"I think there's a lot of conservative intellects that they could bring to campus that don't have a record of being involved in a war that's killed over a million people," said protestor Jeff Napolitano.

Supporters defended Rove's visit.

"This being my third year here, it's clear to see how narrow-minded a lot of people on campus are. It's their way or no way," said junior Nick Lynch.

Rove was able to touch on topics like the deficit and President Barack Obama's healthcare policy.

He stayed to answer questions from students.

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