While GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain continues to barrage the Occupy Wall Street protesters for being “un-American” and “anti-capitalism,” his fellow Republican contender Mitt Romney has pared back his previously harsh words for the protesters.
At a campaign stop today in New Hampshire, Romney said blaming Wall Street for the country’s economic woes is the “wrong way to go.”
“Are there bad actors on Wall Street? Absolutely. Are there bad actors on Main Street? Absolutely. And they have to be found and plucked out,” Romney said. “But to say we should point and attack other Americans or industries of America would be a mistake.”
“The idea of dividing our nation at a time of crises is the wrong way to go,” Romney continued. “All the streets are connected. Wall Street is connected to Main Street. Finding a scapegoat, finding someone to blame, isn’t the right way to go.”
Last week, at a campaign stop in Florida, the former Massachusetts governor said the demonstrations were “dangerous” and “class warfare.” But when asked about his comments afterward, the GOP front-runner declined to elaborate, saying “I’m just trying to get myself to occupy the White House.”
Romney and Cain are part of an ever-expanding circle of Republicans who have spoken out against the protests, which have spread from lower Manhattan to dozens of other cities across the country since they began last month.
“I am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and other cities across our country,” Cantor said in a speech to social conservatives on Friday. “Believe it or not, some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans.”
The Occupy Wall Street movement has metastasized to cities around the country. From Washington, D.C.; to Des Moines, Iowa; to Los Angeles, people have marched, chanted and “occupied” city centers demanding that Wall Street bankers be prosecuted for contributing to the financial crisis and for limits to be imposed on corporate donations to political campaigns, among other grievances.