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Mitt Romney sympathizes with Wall Street protesters

October 11, 2011|By Kim Geiger and Maeve Reston
(Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty…)

Mitt Romney appeared to be softening to the Occupy Wall Street protests on Monday, taking a more sympathetic tone as he remarked on the movement, which he had called “dangerous” just a week before. 

“I look at what’s happening on Wall Street and my view is, boy, I understand how those people feel,” he said at a town hall event in Hopkinton, N.H. “Because with median income down 10% ... with chronic unemployment, long-term unemployment worse even than the Great Depression, the people in this country are upset. And I understand middle Americans saying, ‘Wait a second, what’s going on? This wasn’t the deal. How can this be?’’

Gone was the rhetoric of last week, when he suggested the protesters were engaged in “class warfare.”

“As a matter of fact, I don’t worry about the top 1%,” Romney said in response to a question about how to close the wealth gap. “I don’t sit up nights worrying about do we need to help them. ... They are doing just fine by themselves.”

The former governor of Massachusetts and co-founder of the Bain Capital investment firm said he wants America “to once again be the best place in the world to be middle class.”

“The answer is to make America the best place in the world for all those companies and all the entrepreneurs and all the people with that empire spirit in their purpose to invest and grow here, not to go elsewhere,” he said.

kim.geiger@latimes.com
maeve.reston@latimes.com

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