Dec 30, 2011 13 Comments ›› Pat Dollard
While campaigning in Iowa on Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul praised the Occupy Wall Street movement, comparing it to the Tea Party movement. “In many ways, I identify with both groups,” Paul said. Both groups are fed up with problems in Washington and “the two-party-system,” Paul said while speaking at an insurance company in Des Moines.
Praising the left-wing Occupy Wall Street movement is an unusual move for a Republican presidential candidate, but Ron Paul is, of course, an unusual Republican presidential candidate. He jumped to first place in the Iowa caucus polls partly because of support from people who aren’t Republicans. His comments that members of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street are unhappy with the “two-party system” could fuel speculation that Paul will make a third-party bid of his own — something he has not ruled out.
Although “some people like to paint Occupy left and the Tea Party people right,” Paul said, “I think it makes my point. There’s a lot of people unhappy, and they’re not so happy with the two-party system because we have had people go in and out of office, congress changes, the presidency changes, they run on one thing, they do something else. Nothing ever changes.”
Paul praised the Occupy movement for focusing attention on the “very rich” who became wealthy because of government bailouts or contracts, but said that wealthy people who make an honest living “have to be protected. We shouldn’t be jealous or envious of those people.”