Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, whose popularity has surged in recent days, is standing by remarks he made condemning the growing number of protesters on Wall Street and in other parts of the nation. Speaking on the Hugh Hewitt radio show earlier this week, the GOP presidential contender said that if given the opportunity, he would tell the Wall Street protesters that people who are unemployed should blame the Obama administration and themselves for their struggles.
“You’re picketing the wrong source. It’s not those that have produced in this country. It’s the failed policies of this administration,” Cain said. “If you look in the mirror, you will realize that the only person that you can blame for what you don’t have is the person you’re looking at in the mirror.”
He also said in a Wall Street Journal video, "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."
MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell gave Cain an opportunity to retract the statements when he appeared on The Last Word Thursday night, but Cain said he was not directing them at people who are unemployed “for no reason of their own” but at those who’ve “chosen to go and demonstrate on Wall Street for whatever reason.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor also had harsh words for the protesters. He compared them to a “mob” and suggested that they’d been encouraged by the White House.
“This administration's failed policies have resulted in an assault on many of our nation's bedrock principles," he said Friday at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. "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."
White House press spokesman Jay Carney said Cantor’s criticism of the Wall Street protests was "hypocrisy unbound," considering he has fully supported Tea Party protests, including some that have taken place on the grounds of the Capitol.
"I don't understand why one man's mob is another man's democracy," Carney said.
(Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)