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Occupy Wall Street, which has been going strong for well over a month, is beginning to be a new topic of discussion among the GOP presidential hopefuls. During the GOP debate in Las Vegas, the candidates were asked: “How do you explain the Occupy Wall Street movement happening across the country and how does it relate to your movement?”
Herman Cain has voiced his opinions previously about Occupy Wall Street in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself,” he said at the time.
Herman Cain clarified his earlier comments by making it clear that he thought the protesters are directing their anger at the wrong place. He believes that protesters shouldn’t be at Wall Street targeting the banks, but in front of the White House instead. Cain has also spoken out about how he thinks the protests have been a way to distract the public from Obama’s failed policies in hopes to get re-elected.
Congressman Ron Paul differed in his reaction to the movement. “I think Mr. Cain has blamed the victims,” he said. Paul has voiced his empathy for the middle class and blames the banks and the Federal Reserve for the current economic crisis. He also stated, “If you had to give money out, you should have given it to people who were losing their mortgages, not to the banks.”
In the previous debate held at Dartmouth, Newt Gingich talked about the protesters on Wall Street. He stated, “I think the people who are protesting on Wall Street break into two groups. One is left-wing agitators who would be happy to show up next week on any other topic, and the other is sincere middle-class people who, frankly, are very close to the Tea Party people and actually care.”
He went on to say that the solution to the protests was to fire Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and that the protestors should be directing their anger toward the federal government.
Rick Perry discussed his stance on the regulations in Wall Street, and what he thought about the protesters in an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood. He states, “I hope what they will see is that America’s a fabulous country and it gives them the opportunity to go say your peace, go protest on the street.”
At an appearance in Florida, Mitt Romney talked of the protest by stating, “I think it’s dangerous, this class warfare.” With the protest showing no signs of slowing down any time soon, it seems as if Occupy Wall Street is beginning to be a legitimate topic that the Republican GOP candidates will have to face in the future.
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