President Obama voiced support for the Occupy Wall Street Movement today at a press conference focused on getting Congress to pass his jobs bill. Vice President Biden today also expressed similar support at the Atlantic’s Washington Ideas Forum this morning.
Think Progress writes:
“The core of the bargain has been breached with the American people,” Biden said at the Atlantic’s Washington Ideas Forum this morning. Obama, asked about the movement at his press conference, said he thinks “it expresses the frustrations the American people feel” that “the same folks who acted irresponsibly [are] trying to fight efforts to crack down on abusive practices that got us into this problem in the first place. So yes, I think people are frustrated and the protesters are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works.”
NBC News added,
But Obama, taking questions at the White House after making a push for the American Jobs Acts, said the U.S. has to have have a strong and effective financial sector for the economy to grow. He said the financial regulation bill he championed is designed to make sure there is tougher oversight of the financial industry.
“The American people understand that not everybody’s been following the rules, that Wall Street is an example of that,” he said.
Obama predicted the anger would likely “express itself politically in 2012 and beyond.”
The Occupy Wall Street protests started Sept. 17 with a few dozen demonstrators who tried to pitch tents in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Since then, hundreds have set up camp nearby in Zuccotti Park and have become increasingly organized, lining up medical aid and legal help and printing their own newspaper.
The protesters have varied causes but have spoken largely about unemployment and economic inequality, reserving most of their criticism for Wall Street. “We are the 99 percent,” they chant, contrasting themselves with the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.
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