In another example of the incivility marring American political discourse, former White House political guru Karl Rove was shouted down and forced to leave the stage at a book-signing event in Beverly Hills, Calif., Monday night.
Rove, who served as senior adviser to President George W. Bush, was called a "war criminal" by one protester and rushed by another who waved a pair of handcuffs and announced she was going to make a citizen's arrest, CNN
affiliate KCAL-TV reported.
Rove was at the Saban Theater to discuss and autograph his book, "Courage and Consequences: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight." About 100 people paid $40 each to hear him speak, but Rove had to walk away eventually without signing any books. Handcuff-wielding Jodie Evans, co-founder of the anti-war group Code Pink, confronted him, shouting, "You lied to take us to war," as organizers of the event tried to block her. Another woman yelled, "The only comfort I take is that you're going to rot in hell," CNN said.
The demonstrators accuse Rove and others in the Bush administration of overstating the threat posed by Iraq under Saddam Hussein as a pretext to leading the U.S. into war.
Rove, who defended the Bush White House years in some heated exchanges, said his antagonists reflected "totalitarianism on the left. . . . They don't believe in First Amendment rights for anyone but themselves."