No, not in 2000. The article’s from 1992, when Al Gore was the Democratic vice presidential candidate, and the headline refers to the elder Bush, then running for reelection. If you’re confused as to why Gore would bother campaigning in the middle of Connecticut, consider that this was 1992; the red/blue state divide as we know it today wasn’t quite in place, and Connecticut swung right for Bush in 1988 and for Reagan in both 1984 and 1980.
So, on October 30, 1992, the VP candidate made his way to the relatively new Freeman Athletic Center, where he spoke for 35 minutes, “mostly criticizing President Bush, but also highlighting the ticket’s stance on the environment, healthcare, jobs and the Head Start program.” According to the piece, Gore spent the bulk of his speech attacking Bush in light of claims that the president knew about and was involved in the 1986 Iran-Contra Scandal. (Why these charges didn’t play a greater role in the election, I can’t say.)
A group of about 10 Republicans, including some from the University of Connecticut and Trinity College, snuck into a roped off crowd section in front of the media and held Bush-Quayle signs aloft as soon as Gore began to speak.
The Clinton-Gore advance team noticed the signs almost immediately and quickly directed people in the section to surround the Republicans.
Several Bush-Quayle signs were ripped out of the hands of the Republicans and torn up.
Wesleyan Republicans president Robert Alvarez ’95 said group members silently holding signs aloft were “harassed and assaulted” by some people in the crowd. “It was atrocious,” he said.
The article also quotes Julia Chowdhury ’95, who may or may not be related to Metronaps co-founder Arshad Chowdhury ’98. In the same issue, the incident was the subject of a (what else?) Wespeak by James Cha ’94, who decried the “violence and intolerance” of the reaction. You probably could compare that confrontation to the quick security reaction to protestors at Scalia’s lecture last spring, except that it was Scalia—not the demonstrators—who comprised the conservative minority on Wesleyan’s campus that day.
Here’s full Argus coverage of Gore’s 1992 speech at Wesleyan, as well as this hilarious grainy photo of students watching election returns in WesWings that year.[nggallery id=224]