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It probably doesn’t come as much of a shocker that Michele Bachmann isn’t a fan of the Occupy Wall Street movement or its growing number of protesters.
The White House hopeful’s chief complaint appears to be that she thinks the protesters are looking to the federal government to answer problems she believes are best solved by the free market. But in an appearance in San Francisco on Thursday night, the Minnesota Republican went into quite a bit more detail. In short, she said that the movement was counterproductive and potentially violent – and that the protesters themselves are, well, dirty.
“The Tea Party picks up its trash after it has a demonstration, so there’s a difference,” the congresswoman quipped during a Q-and-A after her speech at the Commonwealth Club of California, the Oakland Tribune reports.
In Bachmann’s eyes, the Occupy movement and the Tea Party she champions are complete opposites, and not merely for sanitation reasons. “There is 180-degree difference” between the two, she said.
During her appearance, Bachmann cited a controversial Wall Street Journal op-ed by Democratic pollster Doug Schoen that was based on interviews with roughly 200 protesters in Zuccotti Park:
“He had done an interview of–of the Occupy Wall Street and he had said that, of those who were demonstrators, 98 percent believe in civil disobedience and in excess of 30 percent believe in achieving in using violence to achieve those ends. I think that would be tremendously counterproductive, for us to see that movement in the United States. What we need to do is get the economy moving, that’s what we need to do,” Bachmann said, according to PolitckerNY.
For what it’s worth, here’s the Schoen graph that Bachmann seems to be paraphrasing. You’ll notice a slight difference between using violence and supporting violence:
"Half (52%) have participated in a political movement before, virtually all (98%) say they would support civil disobedience to achieve their goals, and nearly one-third (31%) would support violence to advance their agenda."