Karl Rove said that pressure by faculty and students at New Jersey's Rutgers University to have former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice banned from campus is a case of "political correctness gone nuts," Politico reported
The veteran Republican political strategist, who served with Rice in the George W. Bush White House, denounced "the little totalitarians on the left" for galvanizing opposition to block Rice from addressing the university's May 18 commencement ceremony. He made the remarks during a Monday appearance on Fox News' "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."
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While university President Robert Barchi rejected demands to rescind Rice's invitation, the former secretary decided on Saturday to pull out.
"Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families," Rice wrote in a Facebook post
. "Rutgers' invitation to me to speak has become a distraction for the university community at this very special time."
Rutgers chemistry Professor Robert Boikess helped spearhead the anti-Rice campaign, which claimed that she was responsible for the "destruction" in Iraq and authorizing CIA "torture tactics" against captured terror suspects, according to CNN
Rove dismissed the assertions as "politically motivated, politically aimed, ideologically driven and stupid." He said that the assertion that waterboarding is torture was factually inaccurate.
He also pointed to the university community's hypocrisy – scapegoating Rice while making Hillary Clinton welcome on campus in 2007 though she backed the war in Iraq as a New York senator.
The university has seen its reputation decline in a recent Times Higher Education survey of academics. Rutgers dropped to the bottom of the Top 100 list, The Star-Ledger
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