Obama: Occupy Wall Street ‘Expresses the Frustrations That the American People Feel’

By Matt Cover | October 6, 2011 | 1:11 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama said that the left-wing Occupy Wall Street protesters were expressing the frustrations of the broader American public, particularly frustration over how the U.S. financial system operates.

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“I think it [the protest] expresses the frustrations that the American people feel,” Obama told reporters at a White House news conference on Thursday.

Obama said the leftist protest movement was echoing the public’s frustration at seeing banks and financial institutions oppose his administration’s efforts to impose greater financial regulations, adding that people blame Wall Street financiers for the financial crisis and do not like seeing them oppose the government.

“That we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country, all across Main Street -- 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 problem in the first place,” said the president.

President Barack Obama gestures during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Obama claimed that the protesters were giving voice to broad public “frustration” with the “way our financial system works.”

“So yes, I think people are frustrated and the protesters are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works,” said Obama.

Occupy Wall Street is an ongoing protest involving various left-wing activist groups, labor unions, and other protesters camping out in and around Wall Street in New York City protesting perceived inequality, bailouts, and apparent Wall Street excess. The protests have spread to several cities, including Washington, D.C.