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Obama Compares Occupiers to Tea Party

President Obama Tuesday characterized the Occupy Wall Street crowd and the Tea Party as sort of two sides of the same coin, suggesting they were both just venting frustration that the system isn’t working for them.

Obama spoke during an interview with ABC’s Jake Tapper:

You asked earlier about “Occupy Wall Street” and what I’ve said is that I understand the frustrations that are being expressed in those protests. In some ways, they’re not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming from the Tea Party, both on the left and the right.

I think people feel separated from their government, that the institutions aren’t looking out for them and that the most important thing we can do right now is those of us in leadership, letting people know that we understand their struggles, we are on their side and that we want to set up a system in which hard work, responsibility, doing what you’re supposed to do, is rewarded, and that people who are irresponsible, who are reckless, who don’t feel a sense of obligation to their communities and to their companies and to their workers, that those folks aren’t rewarded.

The president either misunderstands the Occupy Wall Street protests or he is purposely minimizing their extremism.

There is a fundamental difference between the two groups which allows no comparison.

The members of the Tea Party want to work within the system to change policies they find repugnant and think are ruining the country. The Occupy Wall Street protestors think the system itself – political and economic – is repugnant and want to overturn it. Fully a third told a Democratic pollster they would use violence to achieve their ends.

Many of those protesting are veteran malcontents who are outraged in general, not in response to the current misery of their fellow citizens.

The Tea Party is made up of people unhappy with specific policies. The OWS protestors are using people outraged by specific policies to advance long-held beliefs.

The Tea Party and the OWS extremists have absolutely nothing it common. It is remarkable, and it is deeply insulting to those who comprise the Tea Party, that the president would compare the two.

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19 Responses to Obama Compares Occupiers to Tea Party

  1. Suuuure, I can see the similarities: the tea partiers (not to be confused with the co-opted Tea Party) don’t want any more of their money stolen for BS. The occupation forces want to steal more money to give them everything they want (kinda like threatening to meet Santa Claus at the chimney with a gun: “Gimme everything on my Xmas list. Or else.”)

  2. “… that we want to set up a system in which hard work, responsibility, doing what you’re supposed to do, is rewarded, and that people who are irresponsible, who are reckless, who don’t feel a sense of obligation to their communities and to their companies and to their workers, that those folks aren’t rewarded.”
    I believe the majority of Americans HAVE worked hard, been responsible, charitable and volunteered their time and expertise to their communities.
    I believe a “new system” will NOT reward those endeavors.
    I am disgusted with these hypocritical politicans who presume to tell me what I deserve or what reward I have earned.
    Where is MY voice in government?

    • I’m glad Patricia McAllister lost her job. There is no place for bigots in the education of our children. Why is it that these people have such ignorant attitudes? The lady holding the flip cam while being interviewed was behaving like a jerk.

  3. Does anyone else think the Occupiers are the people who are irresponsible and reckless and selfish? Why are the they being rewarded with positive media support?

    • This is how we wound up with President Obama. Said he was one thing and then with the help of the drooling and slobbering and let’s
      not forget tingling media giving him a free ride we got the ruination of
      America. That is his kind of crowd because they are fairly stupid and will follow him that’s why he likes them they look like votes.

  4. Who in the h*ll does he think he represents? How could the POTUS even consider “setting up a system” that rewards some and punishes others for what they do in their everyday lives?
    The POTUS and Congress does not have authority to reward or punish any lawful citizen and for MrO to even suggest such a “system” is almost un-American and downright suspicious.

    The tea party supporters wanted our government to live within the constituional boundries, to act in a responsible fiscal manner and to remove or limit the interference in our private lives. The OWS supporters want our government to give them things, forgive their excesses and then to close the doors of Congress and shut off the lights so that we can live in the dangerous world of anarchy..

    • You are spot on srdem. It is not his job to pick the winners and losers in life, and he is tragically mistaken if he believes that is what Americans want him to do.

      The Tea Party and 0WS have absolutely nothing in common. First of all, he never cared enough to understand what the Tea Party had to say, so we put down the signs and got involved in the current political system. We don’t want to break our replace our current system of government, we want to fix it.

      This is the all the respect he could muster for the Tea Party — http://tv.breitbart.com/lets-not-play-games-obama-takes-swipe-at-tea-party-protesters/ What a sharp contrast to his embrace of 0WS.

  5. What Barry does not understand is that his comparison is probably equally insulting to the OWS kooks as well. Can you image being all “cool” and counter-cultural, and then being compared to the “stiffs” that make up the tea party.

  6. So how is he going to determine who is good and who is bad. That would need a group of snitches. Kind of like the neighbourhood snitches China had, or the spies that permeated the Soviet Union.

  7. your sooo wrong Keith; they are very similar. there are radicals (some violent) and moderates (the majority thankfully) in both movements and they even share some beliefs ( i.e. the bank bailouts were wrong and maybe criminal) . Have you actually talked at any lenght to members of either group? I somply don’t believe your statement that 30% of OWS would use violence. check your facts. outside of a few nuts in Oakland there is less violence in OWS sites than in the average American City.