Obama, Cantor spar over Occupy Wall Street

@CNNMoney October 7, 2011: 2:54 PM ET
Occupy Wall Street protestors:

Occupy Wall Street protesters: "Frustrated" Americans or "mobs"?

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The Occupy Wall Street protests have sparked another fight -- between Republicans and President Obama.

Speaking Friday at a "Values Voter Summit" in Washington, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor called the protesters a "mob" and suggested they had been encouraged by the Obama administration.

"This administration's failed policies have resulted in an assault on many of our nation's bedrock principles," he said. "If you read the newspapers today, I for one am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country.

"And, believe it or not, some in this town have condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans," he added.

His remarks come the day after President Obama expressed sympathy to the views of protesters.

Obama defended the decision to bail out banks and Wall Street during the meltdown in the financial sector in 2008, saying not doing so would have caused far greater damage to the economy. But he said he understands the backlash against that bailout now being voiced in the protests.

"I think people are frustrated, and the protesters are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works," he said.

And the president used another question about the protests to criticize Republican efforts to roll back the Dodd-Frank financial industry regulations passed last year.

"You've got Republican presidential candidates whose main economic policy proposals is, we'll get rid of the financial reforms that are designed to prevent the abuses that got us into this mess in the first place," he said. "That does not make sense to the American people. They are frustrated by it."

After Cantor's remarks Friday, White House press spokesman Jay Carney said the Republican leader's criticism of the Wall Street protests was "hypocrisy unbound," when compared to his support of Tea Party protests. He said both were examples of American democratic traditions.

"I don't understand why one man's mob is another man's democracy," Carney said.

Cantor's remarks follow an interview by Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain on Thursday, who told a Wall Street Journal video show that the protestors were "anti-capitalism" and that he believed they were being orchestrated simply to distract from failed economic policies of the Obama administration, although he admitted he had no evidence to back up that charge.

"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. To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.80%3.88%
15 yr fixed3.20%3.23%
5/1 ARM3.84%3.88%
30 yr refi3.82%3.93%
15 yr refi3.20%3.23%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Economic Calendar
Latest ReportNext Update
Home pricesAug 28
Consumer confidenceAug 28
GDPAug 29
Manufacturing (ISM)Sept 4
JobsSept 7
Inflation (CPI)Sept 14
Retail sales Sept 14
  • -->

    Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.