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Occupy Wall Street: Reactions From Big Names In Politics, Business, Media

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 10/07/11 05:47 PM ET   Updated: 12/07/11 05:12 AM ET

Approaching its fourth week, the Occupy Wall Street has grown from a largely-ignored gathering in Manhattan's financial district to a nationwide network of protesters that commentators, left and right, now can't seem to stop talking about.

Though the protests were initially criticized for lacking a clear direction or objective, the public conversation is beginning to shift away from the question of what Occupy Wall Street wants and towards a discussion of what the movement means for America.

Despite -- or because of -- the arrests of around 700 people last weekend, support has flocked to the group in recent days from trade unions and community organizations like MoveOn.org and the Working Families Party, as well as endorsements from celebrities such as Mark Ruffalo, Susan Sarandon and Alec Baldwin.

But not everyone is pleased with the demonstrations. Politicians have been mixed in their reactions to Occupy Wall Street, with strong criticism coming from conservatives like House Majority leader Eric Cantor and Senator Orrin Hatch.

Democrats, including President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, have expressed sympathy for the movement. Still, opinions don't seem to be drawn along party lines. Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer expressed his support while the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, an Independent, seems to have had enough.

Here are comments from 16 opinions on Occupy Wall Street from big-name voices in business, media and politics:

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
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"They blame, with some justification, the problems in the financial sector for getting us into this mess, and they're dissatisfied with the policy response here in Washington. And at some level, I can't blame them," Bernanke said during a hearing before the Joint Economic Committee.
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