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Elizabeth Warren On Occupy Wall Street: I Created 'The Intellectual Foundation For What They Do'

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Elizabeth Warren, chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, speaks during a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee on Capitol Hill July 21, 2010 in Washington, DC. The committee called Neil Barofsky, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), Elizabeth Warren, chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, and Richard Hillman, Managing Director Financial Markets and Community Investment Team at the US Government Accountability Office, to testify about status of the T | Getty Images

Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren, who is running for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts as a Democrat, revealed that she was a Republican until the 1980s, and she came out in strong support of the Occupy Wall Street protests in an interview with The Daily Beast published Tuesday.

"I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets. I think that is not true anymore," she said. "I was a Republican at a time when I felt like there was a problem that the markets were under a lot more strain. It worried me whether or not the government played too activist a role."

She declined to say whether she voted for Ronald Reagan.

Warren also said that she supported the Occupy Wall Street protests. "I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do," she added, referring to her academic research on consumer debt.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee criticized her support. "Warren's decision to not only embrace, but take credit for this movement is notable considering the Boston Police Department was recently forced to arrest at least 141 of her Occupy acolytes in Boston the other day after they threatened to tie up traffic downtown and refused to abide by their protest permit limits," wrote an NRSC spokesman to the Boston Globe.

In a Democratic candidates debate earlier this month, Warren did not directly answer a question about the protests, though her answer was limited to 30 seconds.

"Everyone has to follow the law, that has to be the starting place," she said. "But no one understands better what the frustration is right now. The people on Wall Street broke this country. And they did it one lousy mortgage at a time. It happened more than three years ago, and there has still been no basic accountability, and there has been no real effort to fix it. That's why I want to run for the United States Senate, That's what I want to do to change the system," she said.

Warren has raised $3.15 million in her bid to defeat sitting Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), and polls released this month show her running even with him.

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