Newt Gingrich On Occupy Wall Street Protests: 'There Is A Frightening Level Of Anti-Semitism'
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich appeared on CBS' "The Early Show" Wednesday morning, sympathizing with the anger behind Occupy Wall Street but worrying about alleged anti-Semitism in the protests.
"If you say 'do you agree you should be angry,' we ought to be angry," he said, adding that people should be mad at the secrecy in the Wall Street bailouts. He added that he did not know what the "message" of the Occupy Wall Street protesters was. "There is a frightening level of anti-Semitism in some of these gatherings fundamentally different than the Tea Party," he said.
The Anti-Defamation League said while there were a small number of anti-Semitic protesters and signs at the Occupy Wall Street protests, they found "no evidence" that such views were representative of the movement as a whole or were "gaining traction." The group asked the Occupy Wall Street movement to condemn "manifestations of anti-Semitism and racism" at their rallies, the same request it made to the Tea Party movement.
Gingrich did sympathize with one of the chief concerns of the Occupy Wall Street protesters -- rising student loan debt. "Is it really fair to young people -- or for that matter to middle-aged people who go back to school -- to give them an inflated price just because you can borrow the money in the short-run? You have to pay that money back and that becomes a big burden," he said. He also bemoaned the rising cost of higher education.
He reiterated that the heated debate exchanges in Las Vegas between Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney were hurtful to the Republican party. "It hurt everybody to have bickering going on the way it was going on in that debate," he said.
Gingrich also took a shot at President Barack Obama in the interview, saying he was "more comfortable on Leno than he is trying to govern the country," referring to Obama's "Tonight Show" appearance Tuesday.
Gingrich said Tuesday that his campaign had raised more money in October than in July, August and September, when he raised just over $800,000. A New York Times/CBS poll released Tuesday showed him in third place with 10 percent support nationally.