Cantor shifts tone on Occupy Wall Street protestors
October 11th, 2011
03:34 PM ET
9 years ago

Cantor shifts tone on Occupy Wall Street protestors

Washington (CNN) - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Tuesday attempted to walk back comments he made last week when he referred to those participating in the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations as "the growing mobs."

In his weekly session with reporters on Capitol Hill, Cantor said he understands why people are out on the streets protesting.

"People are upset and they're justifiably frustrated. They're out of work. The economy is not moving," Cantor said. "Their sense of security for the future is not clear at all. People are afraid and I get it."

But while refraining from using the term "mob" Cantor repeated his criticism of political leaders, indirectly aimed at Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats, who he maintained were using the protestors to encourage a divide between people and the financial sector.

"I don't believe that our role is to inflame a division between different parts and sectors of American society," Cantor said.

The number two House GOP leader argued that policies enacted in Washington are "making matters worse" and he cited the stimulus package and the financial regulatory reform law.
When asked about Cantor's original description of the protestors on Tuesday, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said he "I certainly don't think they're a mob."

Hoyer, like Cantor, said the demonstrations were a reflection of the "angst" on the part of Americans who are fearful about the economy.

The Maryland Democrat argued that the town hall meetings in the summer of 2009 around the health care debate, many attended by tea party protestors, were "much more confrontational in many respects" than the recent demonstrations around the country.

But Cantor said the tea party movement that was "very different" than the Occupy Wall Street protests in that it was aimed at the government, not a particular private sector.

"The tea party were individuals that were attempting to address their grievances, seeking redress of their grievances from the government that they elected. Different, from what I see, from the protestors that I see on Wall Street and elsewhere, who again who are pitting themselves against others outside government in America," Cantor said.

Filed under: Congress • Eric Cantor • House • Occupy Wall Street
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. MaryM

    lol cantor, YOU and the GOP/TP have DIVIDED THIS COUNTRY. Not the Dems. YOU AND THE GOP/TP Have chosen THE RICH 1% over the 99% middle class and the poor. Guess what dimwit, there are ALOT MORE middle class and poor.

    October 11, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. T'sah from Virginia

    ►"People are upset and they're justifiably frustrated. They're out of work. The economy is not moving," Cantor said. "Their sense of security for the future is not clear at all. People are afraid and I get it."◄

    And who do we blame???? The “do-nothing” congress!!! Cantor is getting scared because there will be an “Occupy Richmond” coming his way and he will have to explain it.

    ►"I don't believe that our role is to inflame a division between different parts and sectors of American society," Cantor said.◄ in regards to comments made by Pelosi.

    Okay Can’tor, so it’s okay to praise the TP and actually be a part of them but NO ONE from the LEFT can praise the “Occupiers!!” No, Can’tor, you did not change your tone you just TRIED to take your foot out of your mouth and it’s still stuck there!!!

    Obama/Biden 2012!!! Hail to the “Occupiers!!!”

    October 11, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. Darlene

    Too little too late. You already showed us your true colors....that would be the color of greed and you wear it well.

    October 11, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. vic , nashville ,tn

    Eric Cantor "People are upset and they're justifiably frustrated. They're out of work.
    So pass the job bill

    October 11, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Protesting on Wall Street is an excrise in futility. The problems in the country are the result of 75 years of Politican Activisim. Trying to fix problems by putting Big Social Programs in place has jjust made the problems worse. We all wish things would clear up quickly. It may be a long wait before that happens.

    October 11, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. VO in NJ

    Has anybody noticed that there are many more comments on the direct "Occupy Wall St" stories and that the vast majority is negative? CNN, please fix the "trolls". They do not represent the public opinion.

    October 11, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  7. Nothing new here

    People have a right to be upset about the current situation in this country.
    But why should people be denied a chance to vent at the "particular private sector"? If it is the private sectors duty to be creating jobs, and not the government, then I think that the private sector needs to get busy and start hiring more people. Also, the private sector needs to stop outsourcing jobs overseas. The unions don't have a hold on every profession known to mankind. Start putting people to work, then maybe some of these OWS protestors won't feel the need to protest anymore.

    October 11, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. A Floridian

    Yes, Mr Cantor the financial sector and banks had nothing at all to do with the Great Rececssion, the destruction of wealth of individuals, and massive job losses that result from companies laying off workers when their stock tanked or not getting any credit from the banks to keep their businesses running or expand.

    The Financial sector is completely blameless .... NOT!!!!!!!!!!

    October 11, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  9. ART

    You just keep saying no android man who ever programmed you really screwed up cause its obvious you do not have a thinking brain, idiot

    October 11, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. James Hovland


    Take it a step further. Corporate America is suffering the wrath of Wall Street just like the unemployed, the victims of the housing crisis, etc... Our retailers, manufacturers and services suffer. We're not the one's driving oil prices up, pushing our economy down, divesting from American enterprise, skimming off the top of everything, and running to the safe haven of gold while the rest of the economy falls.

    We can support Capitalism without defending the Wall Street traitors. When a these trader makes money it can only come from one of two places. Our wallets, or our profits. It's time for a new alliance. Maybe a new party. Labor and enterprise need to stand together against Wall Street's greed and corruption.

    This is a new era. Are we going to let Communist China lead it? Or is it time for America to get our act together, and start acting like a team again. Labor and enterprise. No more defending the Capitalist leaches that do nothing but drive our prices up and economy down? If a bird with one wing could fly, it would only be in circles.

    October 11, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. Wanda J. Brown

    Eric Cantor is more a part of the problem than part of the solution. And nobody will be fooled by his phony walk back of
    the "Mob" comment. We saw his true colors during the debt ceiling debate when he walked out of the meeting like a silly
    2 year old. Congress has the lowest approval rating in it's history and we can thank Eric Cantor and the Teabaggers for
    leading Congress into a hole. I have no respect for either of them and neither do the Occupy Wall Street Protesters. We
    all KNOW that he is bought and paid for by the very people he is protecting. Eric Cantor should be in JAIL for being complicit in helping Wall Street trash the economy. People in Virginia have elected a "FOOL" named Eric Cantor!

    October 11, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. DannyCali

    Cantor, too late is too late now. You just care about you and your family only so, what's about the other people man?

    October 11, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. Nofa Kingweigh

    Hey Republicans,

    How come you aren't standing up for Cantor? This is the first time every comment has been from sensible folks, not hot headed, tea partying losers! There MAY yet be hope for the empire we call America...

    October 11, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. The Elephant In The Room

    Corporations ARE NOT PEOPLE; sorry Republicans.

    I for one am tired of GOP talking points being squeezed into any conversation. The Wall St grass roots protests have NOTHING to do with "regulations & tax cuts for job creators".

    Corporations are GREEDY. They have abandoned American workers because they are protected by the government to earn a living wage. By doing so, they have raised EBIT profit margin pencentages from 15% to 40%. In the process, CEO`s bonuses have sky rocketed. While American workers face downward pressure on their wages. Companies that want the BENEFIT of selling in the American market should be forced to use American workers to build the products. That will cure our unemployment rate.

    October 11, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "I still have trouble understanding how Congress with an approval rateing of less than 20% thinks they are doing a good job. "

    Because the GOP is trying to prove that government is broken by breaking it. "Mission Accomplished."

    October 11, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. LOL

    But Cantor said the tea party movement that was "very different" than the Occupy Wall Street protests...Yeah they are, I haven't heard about OWS people throwing people to the ground and stomping on their heads, or spitting on politicians...I will agree with you there Cantor.

    October 11, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. Jojo

    Cantor and the rest of the tea party in Congress are just glorified mobs pushing the agendas of whatever the richest 1% pays them to get out there. And the American people have good reason to be rightfully scared of them.

    October 11, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. Steve Fix

    Eric Cantor – puts his career and party ahead of the USA – way to go!

    October 11, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  19. We Are The Future

    The Future is calling Cantor, and its telling you to step out of the way and let the American people get the help they need to succed. These young youth's have no shot for jobs becasue there are none. Coperate America is doing nothing to help us out, cutting another at least 30,000 Jobs last month. We are no mob, that is right. But to say that we are devicive and are trying to splinter our nation is absurd! We love this country, and we want to see it grow again. Thats why we fighting so hard to get our voice heard. We are the future, and right now the present is giving us a future no one wants to live!

    October 11, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  20. Sci1

    It is difficult to believe that many of the people are waking up and realizing that corporate tax breaks and trickle down economics do not work. Sorry Mr. Cantor, I think the American people have fallen for that line one too many times.

    October 11, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. Paul1st

    Any truth to the rumors that Cantor's great-great-great grandmother was Marie Antoinette, and political views are inherited?

    October 11, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. John

    If It was the Tea Party he would be out there with them. This Is what the Republican are all about and that Is Party First and the heck with the rest of us. Vote so more In and we will have even less. Have the Republican Control Congress Prove anything to the American People, They have done a thing to help the American People at all In all most years and they run on getting America back to work but haven't even try. The Only Jobs Bill that got to the Floor to vote on Is by President Obama and they won't even vote on It .This Is what America don't need, we need to get People In Congress and the Senate that worry about all the American People and not just the one they take Pledges for.

    October 11, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. Uncle Guido

    This is the question I have asked many times in regard to the tea party.....
    If John McCain or another Republican had been elected, would the tea party exist?
    As much as some of them deny it, the tea party exists because Barrack Obama was elected and for no other reason!!!!!

    October 11, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |

    God Almighty, Cantor is such a weasel.

    October 11, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. jk from MN

    Mr Cantor – Why don't you actually try to work hard to solve to problems that have led to these protests? I've NEVER seen such a cry baby!

    October 11, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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