Authors: Carmen Cox
(WASHINGTON) -- Majority Leader Eric Cantor Friday described the Occupy Wall Street protesters as “growing mobs,” in some of the sharpest criticism yet from a one of the highest-ranking Republican leaders in the House.
“I am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and other cities across our country,” the Virginia congressman said in Washington Friday morning.
The majority leader than chastised Democrats for supporting the protesters. “Believe it or not, some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans,” Cantor said. “But you sent us here to fight for you and for all Americans. You sent us here to bring about real change in Washington, real change to your federal government. And we’re committed to do that.”
Both President Obama and Vice President Biden expressed solidarity with the groups at separate speeches Thursday.
“What is the core of that protest?” Biden asked at the Washington Ideas Forum. “The core is: The bargain has been breached. The core is the American people do not think the system is fair or on the level.”
At a White House news conference, President Obama said the Wall Street protest “expresses the frustrations that the American people feel.”
“We had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country, all across Main Street,” Obama said. “And yet you’re still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on abusive practices that got us into this problem in the first place.”
In the three weeks since the “Occupy” protests began in lower Manhattan, they have spread beyond New York City to cities across the country.
In Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Austin, Texas, and other metro areas, protesters are demanding jobs, the investigation of Wall Street bankers involved in the financial crisis, and a roll back of the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court case that allowed corporations to donate unlimited funds to political campaigns.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio