Off the Record

Greta: Rutgers sends a lousy message to its graduates in the Condi Rice controversy

'Off the Record,' 5/5/14: Rutgers caved and forced former Secretary of State Condi Rice to withdraw as commencement speaker instead of championing the free speech. If Rutgers lets me give the address, guess what my topic will be?


By Greta Van Susteren

Let's go "Off the Record." Since I have given them before, from Harvard law to Georgetown law to even my own high school, pick me. I'll give the Rutgers University commencement speech for free. Not a dime. Obviously, Rutgers needs someone now that the university's first choice, former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, has bowed out.

Now, that didn't have to happen. If Rutgers had backed the former secretary of state, she would be their speaker. Secretary Rice is not afraid of controversy, never has been, but she is gracious and knows this is a big day for the graduates and she didn't want to become a distraction.

I think Rutgers has really bad class. Think about this, the missed opportunity for Rutgers. Had Rutgers fiercely stood behind and with Secretary Rice and insisted she give the speech, despite all the critics and criticism, the university would stand out as champions of free speech, showcasing the value of rigorous debate, even when people passionately disagree. Instead, well, the university looks weak, timid in the face of critics, and they sure send a lousy message to the graduates.

Now, it's just been announced former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean will now be the speaker. But if that falls through, Rutgers, here I am. And you can imagine what my topic will be. Ha!

That's my 'Off the Record" comment tonight. If you have an important story or issue you think I should take "Off the Record," go to and tell us about it.