While Republican attitudes towards Occupy Wall Street protesters have been largely negative, GOP hopeful Ron Paul aligned himself with those participating in the movement during last night’s televised presidential debate.
In support of the agenda of the thousands of Americans participating in the Occupy movement, Texas Congressman Ron Paul said Wednesday night, “if you’re going after crony capitalism, I’m all for it.”
According to Paul, crony capitalists are those “that benefit from contract from government, benefit from the Federal Reserve, benefit from all the bailouts. They don’t deserve compassion. They deserve taxation or they deserve to have all their benefits removed.”
“But crony capitalism isn’t when someone makes money and they produce a product,” added the candidate. “That is very important. We need to distinguish the two. And unfortunately I think some people mix that.”
Meanwhile, former House speaker and fellow GOP hopeful Newt Gingrich attacked Occupy Wall Street defended corporate America and called out the Occupy Wall Street protesters for what he implied was taking an ignorant stance against their country.
“What is amazing to me is the inability of much or our academic world, much of our news media and much of the people on Occupy Wall Street to have a clue about history,” said Gingrich, to which the crowd in Michigan responded with a round of applause. “In this town, Henry Ford started as a Edison Electric supervisor who went home at night and built his first car in his garage. Now was he in the 99 percent or the one percent?” he asked. “Bill Gates drops out of college to found Microsoft. Is he in the one percent or the 99 percent? Historically this is the richest country in the history world because corporations succeed in creating both profits and jobs, and it is sad that the news media doesn’t report accurately how the economy works,” the former speaker said.
"I have yet to hear a single reporter ask a single Occupy Wall Street person a single rational question about the economy that would lead them to say, for example, 'Who is going to pay for the park you are occupying if there are no businesses making a profit?' "
If Gingrich’s comment have him to lose the support of any Occupy protesters who were considering him as a candidate, the media was quick to call Rick Perry’s campaign over yesterday evening after his now-infamous gaffe in which the Texas governor couldn’t name a crucial part of his campaign. Even if the flub doesn't cause Perry to formally bow out from the race, analysts are already saying that the governor's odds of claiming the GOP nod are practically nonexistent. With Perry and Paul both teetering on the top tier of candidates, some close to the race say that last night's screw-up could create an opportunity for Paul to close in on the nomination.
“We fish from the same pot as Perry sometimes,” campaign chairman Jesse Benton told Politico following Perry’s mistake last night.
“For the first time in this race he looked comfortable and confident in giving answers, but none of that will be remembered. Instead we will remember him searching for words and relying on Ron Paul to bail him out,” conservative blogger Craig Robinson adds to the Washington Post.
Paul led in a CNBC online poll as the debate dwindled down, but the network pulled the results from their survey from the web shortly after.