While speaking about jobs before a crowd in Manchester, N.H., President Obama was interrupted by members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, as Peter Wallsten reports:
“Mr. President,” the group said, “over 4,000 peaceful protesters have been arrested. . . . ”
Audience members, mostly high school students, booed, but Obama quieted them, saying, “It’s okay.”
Then he directly addressed the protesters.
“For a lot of the folks who have been in New York and all across the country in the Occupy movement, there is a profound sense of frustration about the fact that the essence of the American dream, which is if you work hard, if you stick to it that, you can make it, feels like that’s slipping away,” Obama said. “And that’s not the way things are supposed to be. Not here. Not in America.”
Obama has come under fire from some conservatives for appearing to embrace the movement, which critics charge is made up of a ragtag group of leftists who hate capitalism. Some Occupy demonstrators have expressed frustration at times with the Obama administration’s close ties to Wall Street banks.