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Obama on Occupy Wall Street: 'We Are on Their Side'

3:02 PM, Oct 18, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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In an interview that will be aired tonight on ABC News, President Obama continues to express his commitment to the Occupy Wall Street protesters. 

“The most important thing we can do right now is those of us in leadership letting people know that we understand their struggles and we are on their side, and that we want to set up a system in which hard work, responsibility, doing what you’re supposed to do, is rewarded,” Obama tells ABC News. “And that people who are irresponsible, who are reckless, who don’t feel a sense of obligation to their communities and their companies and their workers that those folks aren’t rewarded.”

The president also compares the protesters to the Tea Party. “In some ways, they’re not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming from the Tea Party," Obama says. "Both on the left and the right, I think people feel separated from their government. They feel that their institutions aren’t looking out for them.”

But it wasn't too long ago that President Obama openly mocked the Tea Party movement:

"Those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I'm not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around,["] Obama said, “let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we are going to stabilize Social Security.” 

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