Correction to This Article
An April 4 Metro article about White House aide Karl Rove's appearance at American University incorrectly said that he spoke to the campus Young Republican Club. Rove spoke to the American University College Republicans.

Students Lie in Front of Car, Delay Rove After Speech

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By Martin Weil and Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Heckling protesters briefly delayed the car carrying top White House aide Karl Rove last night as he left the American University campus, where he had just given a speech. No arrests or injuries were reported after Rove's invitation-only talk.

About 20 students lay in front of the car as it prepared to leave, a witness said.

Josh Goodman, an AU junior, said other students kicked the car "and tried to stop it as best as they could."

He said the car, with Rove in the back seat, left after those in front of it "were all pulled away."

Goodman estimated that the incident lasted for "close to five full minutes," but Maralee Csellar, AU's acting head of public relations, said the delay amounted to a minute or two. She said there were 12 to 15 protesters.

A White House spokeswoman said last night that Rove "is pleased to accept invitations to speak to groups, including students."

"Rarely is there a protest that is not peaceful," spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore said. "Karl was never in any danger. He appreciated the opportunity and the invitation."

Kim Bruce, a spokeswoman for the Secret Service, said that after Rove spoke, "several individuals who had gathered outside the speech area threw unknown objects at the vehicle."

In addition, she said, "some individuals ran in front of the vehicle" but "did not impede" Rove's departure.

Goodman said students went to the Ward Circle building where Rove spoke to make a "citizen's arrest" of the presidential adviser. He said the students claimed they had compiled evidence indicating that Rove had violated what they say is a presidential records act stipulating that all presidential e-mail be recorded on White House servers.

Csellar said Rove came to AU to speak to the campus Young Republican Club at its last meeting of the school year. She said he was expected to talk for about 20 minutes and take questions for a similar period. Members were given tickets for the event, she said.

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