Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s blunt style was on full display in a Wall Street Journal interview published Wednesday.
Cain told reporter Alan Murray that he isn’t a fan of New York City’s “Occupy Wall Street” protesters. “Don’t blame Wall Street,” Cain said. ”[D]on’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!”
The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO, currently tied with Mitt Romney and Rick Perry in polls for the Republican presidential nomination, speculated the the protests were a ploy to distract voters from Democrats’ responsibility for the state of the economy.
“I don’t have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these protests are planned an orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration,” he said.
Pressed on whether major banks had anything to do with the current economic recession, Cain conceded that they did, but described their role as historical. “They did have something to do with the crisis that we went into in 2008, but we’re not in 2008, we’re in 2011,” Cain added.
“It is not a person’s fault because they succeeded, it is a person’s fault if they failed,” he continued. “And so this is why I don’t understand these demonstrations and what is it that they’re looking for.”
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gave a similarly dismissive answer when asked about the protests by ABC News reporter Emily Friedman on Tuesday. (RELATED: Sheila Jackson Lee lashes out at Hank Williams Jr., Herman Cain)
“I’m just trying to get myself to occupy the White House,” Romney said, calling the protests “dangerous.”
Several prominent Democratic members of Congress have embraced the protests, referring to the movement as the “American Autumn.”