This post has been updated.
Harvard law professor and Democratic Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is refining her relationship with the Occupy Wall Street movement, according to an interview conducted after her comment to The Daily Beast Tuesday saying that she supported the movement and created "much of the intellectual foundation" for it.
"I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do," she had said, referring to her academic work on consumer debt. "I support what they do." The National Republican Senatorial Committee pounced on her comments, saying her support was "notable" since "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."
In an interview Tuesday with a local reporter published in Mother Jones, she downplayed her earlier claim of credit. "I had a long conversation with someone about the Occupy Wall Street movement. I said, I think, I've been protesting Wall Street for a very long time." She added, "There's not a question of is there enough credit to go around...So I am glad that that conversation is going forward and that it's going forward in an organic way."
Her recent comments are not substantially different from what she said originally about the movement in a Democratic candidates debate in early October. "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," she added.
Indeed, Warren told the Boston Globe Friday that she wanted the demonstrators to stay within the law, and mentioned an encounter with a police officer who was part of the "99 percent" but wanted to make sure the protestors obeyed the law.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the movement could help Democrats in 2012 turn the election in a populist direction.
Warren remains in a close race against incumbent Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.).
Her first volunteer gathering, held Tuesday, was extremely well attended.
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