By Julia Musto
Published November 20, 2019
The economist, a regular guest on Fox News Channel, was invited to speak about economics by the school's College Republicans. However, as soon as Laffer approached the podium, protesters with a bullhorn jumped up on desks shouting -- with the intent to shut down Laffer's speech.
According to university officials, two of the protesters were arrested and Laffer and other students were immediately ushered out of the room.
Appearing on "Fox & Friends" with hosts Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt, Laffer said that he didn't think he had anything controversial to say, but that the students who disrupted his speech just didn't like his sponsoring organization: Young America's Foundation.
"But, they were out there in the crowd jumping on the tables and one of them put on a mask and sort of looked like the Antifa group. And then, the police pulled them out and made sure I got out of there. I would have stayed longer, but they wanted me to get out right away," he explained.
Laffer said one man was yelling that the campus Republican organizations who invited Laffer were "racist" and "fascist."
"These students clearly just don't want free speech," he said, noting that he gave two speeches at Yale last year and received a warm welcome.
In a statement, the Vice President for Student Affairs Brian T. Rose said that "The University is incredibly disappointed with the events that happened, particularly given that demonstrators were provided an adjacent lecture hall to engage in a counter discussion."
"The protestors chose instead to infringe on the expressive activity of others...As an institution of higher education, freedom of speech is fundamental to our core mission," Rose wrote.
Akshar was scheduled to speak at a Binghamton University event later this week but announced that he is canceling his appearance. He also wrote that he would be extending an invitation to the leaders of the College Progressives, College Democrats, and College Republicans to discuss the event.
Laffer said that, in his years of speaking at college campuses, he had never experienced anything like it.
"I got my Ph.D. out in California at Stanford, when there were the riots at Sproul Hall at the University of Berkeley," he said. "So, I've seen riots, but this was one just trying to stop opposition speech."
"They just want you to not talk because you're old, you're white, and you're a male. I mean, that's just apparent," he told the "Friends" hosts.
Laffer served on President Ronald Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board for both presidential terms in the 1980s.