Mitt Romney said the protesters rallying against Bank of America in Charlotte this week are too young "to really understand how the economy works."
“Unfortunately, a lot of young folks haven’t had the opportunity to really understand how the economy works, and what it takes to put people to work in real jobs, and why we have banks, and what banks do," Romney told WBTV in Charlotte, according to National Journal. "It's a very understandable sentiment if you don't find a job, and you can’t see rising incomes. You're going to be angry and looking at someone to blame."
Romney said the protesters' blame should be targeted at "the president and the old school liberals that have not gotten this economy turned around." He made a not-so-subtle 2012 push, insisting he's the one who "understands how to get the economy going again."
The protesters -- which included Occupy Wall Street activists, environmentalists, pro-union advocates and victims of home foreclosures -- held massive demonstrations outside of Bank of America's shareholder meeting in Charlotte on Wednesday. Occupiers saw the event as a trial run ahead of September's Democratic National Convention, which will have an increased police presence thanks to a City Council ordinance from earlier this year.
HuffPost's Jason Cherkis and Zach Carter report:
In fact, the arrests have already begun. On Monday, three activists were taken into police custody for carrying a banner criticizing the bank, according to organizers who discussed the matter on a Tuesday call with reporters. The city of Charlotte has authorized a broad array of unconventional police powers for the bank shareholders' meeting on Wednesday. The American Civil Liberties Union has criticized the preemptive crackdown for permitting the arrest of anyone carrying a backpack, purse or briefcase with the intent to conceal anything on a long list of prohibited items, ranging from weapons to markers to bicycle helmets. Those same police powers will be in effect for September's DNC Convention.
"Part of it is testing those out," explained Tammy Shapiro, an activist with Occupy Wall Street. She came to Charlotte from New York City to participate in the protests. She called the new police powers "ludicrous." "There's the sense that we are going to challenge what these laws are."
The new police powers were authorized by a City Council ordinance earlier this year that also banned camping in Charlotte, effectively razing the Occupy Charlotte community.
Watch video from Wednesday's protests above.