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Michele Bachmann Speaks In San Francisco, Slams Occupy Wall Street

Michele Bachmann San Francisco

First Posted: 10/20/11 07:27 PM ET Updated: 12/20/11 05:12 AM ET

On Thursday, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann braved the progressive crowd at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club for a sold-out speech and discussion with supporters and members of the media.

Bachmann spoke about a variety of issues, drawing applause from the audience when she suggested disbanding the Department of Education and vowed to repeal No Child Left Behind.

But the crowd began to boo when the subject turned to the recent Occupy Wall Street protests.

Calling the activity "tremendously counterproductive," the Republican presidential hopeful noted with disgust a recent poll that stated 98 percent of Occupy Wall Street protesters believed in civil disobedience. When moderator Dan Ashley mentioned that the original Tea Party -- a group that Bachmann is affiliated with -- encouraged civil disobedience, Bachmann replied, "At least the Tea Party picks up their own trash."

Bachmann also discussed foreign policy, mentioning the death of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and calling on the U.S. to withdraw all troops from Libya. "The U.S. needs to stop providing the defense force for the whole world," she said.

But the crux of her speech focused on economic policy. Bachmann slammed public sector unions and blamed the economic troubles of the US Postal Service on labor costs. She also took the opportunity to honor Steve Jobs, praising him for embodying the American entrepreneurial spirit.

Mitt Romney
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Speaking to small crowd at a retirement community in Florida on Oct. 4, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney expressed an unsympathetic view of the Occupy Wall Street movement. "I think it's dangerous, this class warfare," he said. Romney declined to comment further when asked about the protests by ABC. His response? "I'm just trying to get myself to occupy the White House."

During a campaign stop in New Hampshire Oct. 10 Romney was a bit more sympathetic. "I worry about the 99 percent in America," he said, later adding, "I understand how those people feel."