President Obama said Thursday that the Occupy Wall Street protests show a "broad-based frustration" among Americans about how the U.S. financial system works.
Speaking at an East Room news conference, Obama said he has monitored the movement, which has spread to dozens of cities nationwide.
"I think it expresses the frustrations the American people feel, that we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country ... and yet you're still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on the abusive practices that got us into this in the first place," he said.
Obama said he used "a lot of political capital" to prevent a financial meltdown and ensure banks remained solvent after he took office. He also touted the financial reform legislation he and Democrats in Congress moved through in 2010.