Quotes of the day

“Obama will likely use his stump speeches to tap into the populism of the Occupy Wall Street protests, expressing solidarity with Americans’ economic frustrations while emphasizing his efforts to enact financial regulations that Republicans have opposed.

“Republicans ‘want to let Wall Street do whatever it wants,’ Obama told a friendly crowd in Asheville, N.C., the first stop of his trip, drawing boos in support of his point…

“Virginia GOP chairman Pat Mullins, who recently visited the protest site in lower Manhattan, said the protesters are ‘disgusting’ and ‘despicable,’ and could potentially tarnish the image of the president.

“‘You’ve got to wonder why any leader of the free world would condone this kind of thing or even encourage it,’ he said, citing several incidents during which members of the movement clashed with law enforcement.”

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“White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley slammed Wall Street Monday for its ‘disconnect’ with the economic distress happening in America.

“Daley, himself a former regional chairman of JPMorgan Chase, criticized Wall Street for its outsize influence in the nation’s affairs in an interview with the New York Times.

“A lot of people in the financial sector have done quite well, I being one of them. And the influence that the financial sector has on our economy is way beyond what it ever had. And there’s a bad side to that,’ he said.”

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“The Occupy Wall Street protests have energized liberals in Congress and all but silenced the left’s criticism of President Obama.

“Liberals who have felt scorned and overlooked by the White House say they are rejuvenated by the protests launched from Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, and hope that they provide Obama and liberal causes with new impetus and vigor…

“‘You know what? We’re coming together,’ said Gutierrez, who has praised the administration for a new immigration enforcement policy that puts its primary focus on deporting illegal immigrants who commit other crimes. ‘Hey, maybe the protesters unified the Democratic Party.'”

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“This week’s New Yorker has a laugh-out-loud cover illustration: Top-hatted bankers march down Wall Street, carrying protest signs that say ‘Keep Things Precisely As They Are,’ ‘Leave Well Enough Alone’ and ‘I’m Good, Thanks.’ That’s the danger for Republican candidates. That’s what they risk sounding like…

“If Democrats reap a political windfall from Occupy Wall Street, it will not be richly deserved. While it is true that they have been better than the Republicans on issues of economic fairness, that’s not saying much. Although Obama is disliked by many on Wall Street for his rhetoric about how ‘millionaires and billionaires’ need to pay ‘their fair share’ in taxes, the fact is that he decided not to seek fundamental reforms…

“By calling attention to this unholy alliance of financial power and political power, the Occupy Wall Street protests struck a nerve. The Republican Party is trapped on the wrong side of this issue. Democrats should be moving boldly, not timidly, to claim the issue of economic justice as their own.”

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“The protesters have a distinct ideology and are bound by a deep commitment to radical left-wing policies. On Oct. 10 and 11, Arielle Alter Confino, a senior researcher at my polling firm, interviewed nearly 200 protesters in New York’s Zuccotti Park. Our findings probably represent the first systematic random sample of Occupy Wall Street opinion.

“Our research shows clearly that the movement doesn’t represent unemployed America and is not ideologically diverse. Rather, it comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth, civil disobedience and, in some instances, violence. Half (52%) have participated in a political movement before, virtually all (98%) say they would support civil disobedience to achieve their goals, and nearly one-third (31%) would support violence to advance their agenda

“An overwhelming majority of demonstrators supported Barack Obama in 2008. Now 51% disapprove of the president while 44% approve, and only 48% say they will vote to re-elect him in 2012, while at least a quarter won’t vote…

“Rather than embracing huge new spending programs and tax increases, plus increasingly radical and potentially violent activists, the Democrats should instead build a bridge to the much more numerous independents and moderates in the center by opposing bailouts and broad-based tax increases.”

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Via Greg Hengler.

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