Karl Rove Heckled, Called 'War Criminal' at Book Event

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Karl Rove Heckled, Called 'War Criminal' at Book Event

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In this Oct. 27, 2009, file photo, Karl Rove, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to former President George W. Bush answers a question before a debate healthcare at Penn State University in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/John Beale)

Former White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove was heckled and branded a 'war criminal' at a book signing in Beverly Hills, California, Monday night.

Rove, who served as senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to former President George W. Bush, was at the Saban Theater to discuss his new book, "Courage and Consequences: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight," to an audience of about 100 people who paid up to $40 to hear him.

But the audience members were unable to get their copies of the book signed after Rove was shouted down and forced to leave the stage, reported CNN affiliate KCAL-TV.

The event was heated from the onset as several anti-war protesters interrupted Rove's talk to accuse him and his administration of lying to Americans about the threat Iraq posed to the United States - and thus, taking the country into war.

Rove called one heckler a "lunatic." He told another to "get the heck out here."

At one point, Jodie Evans, the co-founder of the anti-war group Code Pink, rushed toward Rove waving a pair of handcuffs - saying she was there to make a citizen's arrest.

"Look what you did ... you lied to take us to war. You ruined a country. You totally ruined a country," she shouted.

As organizers tried to keep Evans at bay, another woman stood up and yelled, "The only comfort I take is that you're going to rot in hell."

Rove, who defended his administration's stance on several controversial issues in heated exchanges with other critics, said the interruptions reflected the "totalitarianism of the left."

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