Rep. Peter King Calls Occupy Wall Street Protesters 'Ragtag Mob,' 'Anarchists'
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) joined Herman Cain among the ranks of Republican pols who are unimpressed with the Occupy Wall Street protesters and their nationwide counterparts, calling them a "ragtag mob" and "anarchists" on the Laura Ingraham radio show Friday.
"The fact is these people are anarchists. They have no idea what they're doing out there," King said. "They have no sense of purpose other than a basically anti-American tone and anti-capitalist. It's a ragtag mob basically."
King, whose Long Island district includes many Wall Street commuters, dismissed the demonstrators as "a bunch of angry 1960s do-overs" trying "to create chaos and take away the focus on the Obama record."
The congressman's comments echo those offered by other leading GOPers, including former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain, who told the protesters that they had no one else to blame for their lot in life.
"I don't have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration," Cain said Wednesday to the Associated Press during a book signing event. "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!"
Democrats have, by and large, been much more sympathetic to the protesters. During his press conference on Thursday, President Obama said they demonstrated "the frustrations that the American people feel that we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression....you’re still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on abusive practices that got us into this problem in the first place."
Despite chastizing the "mob" that had descended on downtown Manhattan, King spent much of the Ingraham interview arguing that the protesters didn't deserve the attention they were getting.
"[W]e have to be careful not to allow this to get any legitimacy," he warned. "I'm taking this seriously in that I'm old enough to remember what happened in the 1960s when the left-wing took to the streets and somehow the media glorified them and it ended up shaping policy," he said. "We can't allow that to happen."